Fela Kuti's Unearthed Debut Recording 'Fela's Special' From 1960

Hear Fela Kuti's first ever recorded track, the unearthed highlife style "Fela's Special" from 1960.

Before he became the indisputable king of afrobeat, Fela Kuti laid down a few recordings in the style of highlife for the UK-based label Melodisc. "Fela's Special," recorded in London in 1960, is one of Fela's first ever recorded tracks. Credited to Fela Ransome-Kuti and his band The Highlife Rakers, the unearthed track will appear alongside another long-lost Fela find ("Aigana") on Soundway Records' upcoming compilation Highlife On The Move: Selected Nigerian & Ghanaian Recordings from London & Lagos 1954-66. 

As Markus Coester notes in the sleevenotes for the compilation, “Even though [the recordings] had been discographically tracked and people interested in Fela’s musical life knew of them, they kept hiding for more than 50 years. Before I came across them, I was even in doubt whether they had been released at all. These are amazing first recordings, however.”

Highlife On The Move will be released as double CD & triple 180g gatefold vinyl (with a bonus 7 inch), it will be accompanied by a 44-page CD booklet and 12-page vinyl booklet with notes by Coester and rare photographs. The compilation is available for pre-order now and will be out March 16 on Soundway. Stream Fela and The Highlife Rakers' rare "Fela's Special" below via The Guardian.


11 Rwandan Artists You Should Be Listening To

Musicians like Bushali, Kivumbi King, Rita Ange Kagaju, and Alyn Sano have been putting their mark on the ever-changing Rwandan soundscape.

The current landscape of modern Rwandan music is more dynamic than ever before, from updated versions of traditional folk sounds to the recent 'KinyaTrap' phenomenon that has permeated playlists across the country. For decades, Rwandan airwaves have been dominated by international hits — and by a handful of established Rwandan superstars — but now, as the country continues to develop and diversify, so does its musical setting, with new and different sounds ascending from the hills. The past five years have seen the emergence of an army of young artists eager to reclaim their languages (Rwanda has four official languages) and identity, interlacing their music with influences that stretch far and wide.

Here are 11 artists that have emerged in the past five years to put their mark on the ever-changing Rwandan soundscape.

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