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Photo credit: Sean Thoms

Femi & Made Kuti Create Their 'Legacy +' With New Two-Album Project

The son and grandson of Fela Kuti pay their respects to the legend by honouring his music styles through their own.

Femi and Made Kuti are fully equipped to carry the Kuti legacy as torchbearers for change, as they continue to do the work left over by afrobeat legend and father/grandfather to the pair: Fela Kuti.

The waves created by Fela in his time still continue to affect not only his Nigerian countryfolk, but the world at large. It seems that no one is immune to his messages of change, social and political justice, as his own son and grandson have continued in his steps so many years later.

The February 5th Partisan Records release of their joint 2-album project Legacy + is sure to be an exciting one.


While the two have adopted their own styles and grooves within their music and art, the political and social messages continue to ring loud through tracks like Made's "Your Enemy" (off of his album For(e)ward), a modern afrobeat sound transformed into an urgent call for justice. The album acts as a progressive freedom manifesto, pushing boundaries of the subgenre even further, a press statement explains.

Meanwhile, his dad Femi borrows "Pà Pá Pà," off of his album Stop The Hate, a rallying cry to Nigerians against the dishonesty local politicians have normalized within the country. The album honours Fela by being fun, sharply political and affirming—but sticking to traditional roots and tones.


Legacy + album artwork


Steeped in the style that Fela Kuti has made so universally celebrated, the two albums making up Legacy + still offer each descendent's own unique vision and flavour.

Of the project, Femi says, "I am very excited and happy because as a father I get to perform with my son on my album again, and I get to see him compose, arrange, and play all instruments on his own album. Most importantly, we get to release this project together. It is spiritually soothing and comforting to witness this chapter in my life."

Made adds, "I truly believe that once in a while we are fortunate enough to write stories for ourselves that we can look back on much later in our lives. This has been one of the greatest positive highlights of my life so far, both musically and transcendently. I've learnt so much from my father politically, socially, philosophically and musically that I know this lovely project is only the beginning of more beautiful things to come."

Appealing to those who are stimulated visually, the cover art for For(e)ward' and Stop The Hate feature portraits of Femi and Made done by Brooklyn, New York-based artist Delphine Desane, whose work has been seen on the cover of Vogue Italia.

Listen to Femi Kuti's "Pà Pá Pà" and Made Kuti's "Your Enemy" here.

Femi Kuti - Pà Pá Pà (Official Video) www.youtube.com


Made Kuti - Your Enemy (Official Audio) www.youtube.com

Interview

Interview: Terri Is Stepping Out of the Shadows

We talk to the Wizkid-signed artist about the story behind the massive hit "Soco" and his latest Afro Series EP.

Certain afrobeats songs have made in-roads in international markets and paved the way for the genre's ceaselessly-rising widespread recognition. Among these history-defining songs were D'banj's "Oliver Twist," Tekno's "Pana," Davido's "If" & "Fall," Runtown's "Mad Over You," and of course, Wizkid's "Soco." Wizkid released "Soco" under his label imprint, Starboy Entertainment in March 2018, and the song spread like wildfire across Africa and beyond. "Soco" was an Afro-pop wonder delivered at a time when the 'afrobeats to the world' movement was gathering steam, further cementing its electric nature. The Northboi-produced song was co-signed by celebrities across the world like Rihanna, Cardi B, and Paul Pogba and has accrued well over a hundred million streams across streaming platforms worldwide.

"Soco" was not only a trailblazer amongst mid-2010s afrobeats records, it was also the introduction of the first Wizkid-signed artist, Terri. Just weeks before "Soco" was released, Terri was discovered by Wizkid's longtime producer, Mutay, who saw him covering the song "Oshe" on social media.

Before "Soco," Terri Akewe was well on his way to fame. At fifteen, he had performed at street carnivals in his neighbourhood and, one time, was carried all the way home by neighbours after winning a Coca-Cola sponsored singing competition. Before his life-changing meeting with Wizkid, Terri had a seven-track EP ready for release, as well as a viral song titled "Voices." "One time I was on set with the video director T.G Omori, he told me that 'Voices' was the first time he heard of me" Terri tells me as we settle on a plush couch at his home in Lagos.

Regardless of Terri's initial career trajectory; signing to a label headed by afrobeats' biggest superstar was bound to accelerate his musical journey, and at the same time, cast a huge shadow of expectation on his career, especially given a debut as spectacular as "Soco." With his latest EP, Afro Series, powered by the sensational single "Ojoro," one thing is clear: Terri is stepping out of the shadows into his own spotlight and he is doing it on his own terms.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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