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Dele Sosimi On 'You No Fit Touch Am,' His First Album In Nearly A Decade

We speak with afrobeat ambassador Dele Sosimi and premiere the stream of his new LP 'You No Fit Touch Am,' his first in nearly 10 years.


Dele Sosimi is one of the leading forces carrying the torch of afrobeat. A longtime keyboardist for Fela Kuti‘s Egypt 80, bandleader for Femi Kuti‘s Positive Force, and the founder of his own orchestra, Sosimi is preparing the release of his new album 'You No Fit Touch Am,' a 7-track collection of compositions that are steeped in socio-political messages and showcase classic 1970s Lagos songwriting. Okayafrica spoke with Sosimi via e-mail about the concept behind the new full-length, his first in almost a decade. Read our interview with Dele Sosimi and stream our premiere of 'You No Fit Touch Am,' due May 25 on Wah Wah 45s, below.

Okayafrica: Tell us a little about the background of You No Fit Touch Am? How did it come about and what's the concept behind it?

Dele Sosimi: [The] Literal meaning is “You cannot touch it.” On a conceptual level "the thing is too cool," "too tasty to be messed with," "you can't even come close," "it is beyond you." "The jam just baaad," "don't look at it with common eye," with regards to what I do, what we do, the experience we provide, the spirit of music. You can feel it, hear it, dance to it, be hypnotized, captivated, entranced and transformed positively or negatively and in some cases healed by it, sometimes also catch a glimpse of it in your mind's eye. [It's] based on Afrobeat Vibration, my bi-monthly event in London over the past six years (now in its seventh), where this realization became apparent following observations [and] feedback... resulting in the inspiration to write a song acknowledging the powers of the spirit or spirits you can't touch. It is also a clarion call to allow your self the luxury of being musically moved, grooved, rocked, funked, shocked, bathed, clothed and cleansed instead of resisting and hating.

OKA: How come it took 10 years for you to release another full-length?

DS: Having self-produced and self-released Turbulent Times and Identity, I had made up my mind the third time around would have to wait for the right conditions, [the] right record label at the right time with an offering of a clear development of the afrobeat idiom... an important restatement of what afrobeat is about, in the current scene where the term is used quite indiscriminately (and unfortunately confused with the rather more superficial “afrobeats”). I strongly believe this is now the case.

OKA: What message does the album title You No Fit Touch Am carry?

DS: It has a multi-faceted possibility of messages depending on which angle you look at it from. Spiritually: be open, tolerant and aware, appreciative and humble. Musically: there is a jewel of infinity contained here that will most likely be missed by many, who lack the ability to see the greatness in small things. On the other hand, beauty will be discovered and found here by many.

OKA: What are the socio-political influences behind the album's songwriting?

DS: Mainly the state of things worldwide today with songs like "Na My Turn" (elections worldwide with special attention on so-called democracy in Africa pre and post elections), “E Go Betta” (despite facing abject poverty the admirable spirit of resilience and resolve to carry on [and] soldier on with the song of hope for a better tomorrow), “We Siddon We Dey Look” (Ferguson incidents, Boko Haram, ISIS and most recently xenophobia), “Where We Want Be” (the intolerance prevalent in world society with the message being bring love back BIG TIME!), “Sanctuary” (in line with Fela’s “Music is the weapon of the future” message — in this case music being the 'Sanctuary' where you recharge your batteries to keep on) and “You No Fit Touch Am” as earlier indicated.

OKA: What do you think of the state of afrobeat today?

DS: I hardly think about it. I just appreciate the worldwide appeal, appreciation, influence and continuum as much as possible and, where practical, play a number of roles based on my commitment, understanding and experience.

Pre-order Dele Sosimi's 'You No Fit Touch Am' on Bandcamp and iTunes

Dele Sosimi Live Dates

Afropfingsten - 24th May ~ Switzerland

The Bullingdon - 29th May ~ Oxford

Album Launch - Afrobeat Vibration – 30th May ~ London

FMM Sines - 22nd July ~ Portugal

Afrobeat Vibration - 25th July ~ London

Horniman Museum and Gardens - 30th July - Dele Sosimi Quartet

Dimensions Festival - 28th -30th August ~ Croatia

Afrobeat Vibration - 26th September ~ London

Felabration - 16th October ~ London

Afrobeat Vibration - 28th November ~ London

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Image courtesy of Daily Paper

Wekafore Releases Fela Kuti Inspired Collab With Daily Paper

The one-of-a-kind 'The Spirit Don't Die' capsule collection celebrates African heritage and a hope for a brighter future.

Amsterdam-based African streetwear brand Daily Paper has joined Nigerian fashion brand Wekafore in creating a unique capsule collection of note. The 'The Spirit Don't Die' collection is inspired by fashion and Nigerian activism icon Fela Kuti, but celebrates the bountiful beauty, potential, and heritage of Africans.

Nigerian designer Wekaforé Maniu Jibril, owner, and designer of the Wekafore brand has been hot since his 2013 debut. The brand has gone on to become a great success within the realm of West African fashion. Wekaforé represents a newer, more fearless generation of African designers and their latest collaborative collection tells the tale.

Daily Paper x Wekaforé 'The Spirit Don't Die' collectionImage courtesy of Daily Paper


The two popular brands share a rich history and intention to further African fashion's reputation in the world, as well as as a shared desire for raw necessity, organic growth, and authentic community engagement, development and, support. The fashion brands are making it known that street and casual wear are more than we once thought - fashion can be inclusive and fun. The stars truly aligned to bring us this partnership guided by similar core values and the hunger to celebrate Africa and her diasporas through fashion.

The Fela Kuti-inspired collection is filled with distinctive and bold pieces, honoring Africa's past while paving the way towards the future. Wekafore is known for their clear integration of West Africa's 1970's cultural golden age, and this limited collection speaks to those themes, making it a no-brainer to dedicate the line to the legendary King of Afrobeat, whose style never disappointed. It's clear to see how Kuti's influence inspired the exciting and vibrant creative renaissance seen in the collection. On using Kuti as his muse, Wekaforé says, "Like Fela, the pieces are very punk, very psychedelic, and very African at the same time. And that represents me 100%. And I think being able to speak that way through a platform like Daily Paper is a testament to contemporary African consciousness."


Image courtesy of Daily Paper

Daily Paper x Wekafore 'The Spirit Don't Die' Collection

Check out more of Daily Paper x Wekafore's collection 'The Spirit Don't Die' collection here.

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