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The Influence: Legends' Thoughts On Fela Kuti

Watch as musical legends discuss the influence of afrobeat king Fela Kuti on their music and life.


The wingspan of Fela Kuti's influence transcends genres, borders and generations — through the years, we've seen shades of  the afrobeat pioneer's vision and aesthetic pop up in such varied areas as American hip-hop,  political activism, underground music, dance clubs, human rights campaigns and plenty others.

To commemorate what would have been Fela's 75th birthday this week and the release of KFR Records' Red Hot + Fela, we'll be posting video interviews of both legendary and contemporary musicians speaking about the influence Fela's music has had on their own work and life. Below, watch clips from Brian Eno, Common, George Clinton, Merrill Garbus of tUnE-yArDs, Ray Lema, Jim JamesRobert Glasper, Alex Gibney, ?uestlove, Baloji, Talib Kweli, Bill T Jones, M1 of Dead Prez, Alabama Shakes, Wunmi, Dele and a previously shared video from Paul McCartney. Keep checking back each day as we publish more!

Visit Fela.net and the Regular Trademark store. Use discount code OKAYFELA for 15% off all orders!

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Paul McCartney

?uestlove

Merrill Garbus

Common

George Clinton

Jim James of My Morning Jacket

Talib Kweli

Robert Glasper

Baloji

Brian Eno

M1 of Dead Prez

Ray Lema

Bill T Jones

Wunmi

Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes

Alex Gibney

Dele

BBC Felabration Segment

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'Queen & Slim' soundtrack cover.

Burna Boy Samples Fela's 'Shakara' on New Track, 'My Money, My Baby' From 'Queen & Slim' Soundtrack

The film's official soundtrack also features tracks from Lauryn Hill, Blood Orange, Megan Thee Stallion and more.

The official soundtrack for Queen & Slim has arrived, and it features a standout solo track from none other than Burna Boy.

"My Money, My Baby" is a heavily Afrobeat-tinged track that features a prominent sample of Fela Kuti's 1972 song "Shakara." The pulsating track also sees the singer, channeling Fela's signature talk-style of singing and repetition. Check it out below.

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Still from YouTube

Kehinde Lijadu, One Half of the Legendary Lijadu Sisters Has Passed Away

Tributes have been pouring in for Kehinde Lijadu of the celebrated Nigerian twin duo, known for their funky harmonies and themes of women's empowerment. She was 71.

Nigerians continue to mourn the loss of one of their musical legends, Kehinde Lijadu—one half of the identical twin duo Lijadu Sisters who passed away on Saturday morning after reportedly suffering a stroke, according to Music In Africa. She was 71.

Originally from Ibadan, the Lijadu Sisters, rose to fame in the 1970s. Kehinde was the second-born of the twins (in Yoruba culture, this made her the elder twin). They released their first Iya Mi Jowo in 1969 and dropped several albums throughout the 70s and 80s, including the album Danger (1976), which featured the politically-charged anthem "Cashing In," Sunshine (1978) and Horizon Unlimited (1979) which featured the standout track "Orere Elejigbo." As some of the only female acts in Nigeria's male-dominated music industry at the time, they often spoke about the challenges facing women in the scene, and the importance of social progress and women's empowerment.

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Image courtesy of La Sunday.

Photos: How La Sunday Became Abidjan's Favorite Party

Faced with a lack of party options, a group of friends in Côte d'Ivoire sought to revolutionize the way their city turns up.

The opening line of DJ Arafat's hit song "Maman Sery" plays and the people on stage scream it as loudly as the crowd facing them below. Lighted phones are up in the air. Where some strangers embrace one another, others clutch their chests. The setting? A garden in Abidjan's commune of Cocody on a Sunday night.

Sundays in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire had always been reserved for beach trips and family time. All of this changed dramatically in December of 2018 when Fayçal Lazraq, Lionel Obam, Aurore Aoussi, Charles Tanoh-Boutchoue, and Aziz Doumbia, better known as Bain de Foule Creative Studio created La Sunday and it took Abidan by storm.

According to Charles Tanoh-Boutchoue, co-founder of La Sunday, "The idea was to create an alternative event for fun amongst friends." The differentiating factor here was these "friends" weren't just anyone; they were trendsetters at the epicenter of Abidjan's bustling creative scene. Shares from these creatives were instrumental in creating the engagement surrounding La Sunday and its subsequent expansion.

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Still from Burna Boy's Tiny Desk concert video via NPR.

Watch Burna Boy's Mellowed-Out 'Tiny Desk' Concert

Watch the 'African Giant' run through some of his hits like 'Gbona,' 'Ye' and more for NPR's Tiny Desk concert series.

Burna Boy is the latest artist to grace NPR's famous Tiny Desk.

The Nigerian "afrofusion" star took to the set for a mellowed out performance of four of his biggest tracks. Getting straight to business, the artist opened his set with a toned down rendition of his single "Gbona" before heading into the socially-aware "Wetin Man Go Do." It's much calmer of a performance than we're used to seeing from the artist.

Next he performs a funky version of "Dangote," before rounding his set out with his magnum opus of sorts "Ye." He's backed by the band The Outsiders and vocalist Christina Matovu throughout.

Burna Boy has had a stellar year, releasing his seminal album African Giant, performing at Coachella and winning several awards—including 'Best African Act' at the BET Awards—in the process.

Check out his full Tiny Desk performance below, and revisit a recent Tiny Desk performance from British-Nigerian rapper Dave from last week and check out Burna Boy's okay acoustics performance of 'Anybody' from August.

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