Music
Still from YouTube.

Femi Kuti Talks Legacy, the Future of Afrobeat, Crossover Success for African Artists & More In New Interview

The renowned afrobeat musician sat down for a keynote session with OkayAfrica's music editor at Midem Music Conference in Cannes, France.

Midem, the annual music conference, described as "the leading music industry event for the music ecosystem" is currently underway in Cannes, France and OkayAfrica is on the ground for the action, starting with a keynote session with the legendary Femi Kuti.

In an extensive interview with OkayAfrica's very own music editor Kam Tambini, the celebrated afrobeat musician and head of the New Afrika Shrine, speaks on his vision for empowering new African musicians, the current status of afrobeat—the genre spearheaded by his father—the power of music in addressing pressing global issues, his new album and much more.

READ: Femi Kuti Is Leading Afrobeat Into the Anti-Trump Era


The artist spoke in detail about passing on his musical legacy to his son who is also an artist, and the importance of young artists pursuing music out of passion instead of fame that it brings. "Music inspires every other profession" says Kuti, likening being an artist to being a doctor and helping to alleviate listener's pain. "Music is a medium that higher forces use to give people joy and love," he adds. He urged new artists to study their craft, and advocated for better learning institutions on the continent for aspiring artists and musicians.

When asked about young African artists like Davido and Wizkid who are striving for crossover success in global markets, Kuti urged them to look beyond "gimmicks" and focus on making music that leaves an impact in the long run.

He also spoke about the fight for social progress on the continent. "Do we surrender to injustice, or do we stand and confront this injustice," said Kuti, adding that it will likely be younger generations who will hold the torch in tackling these issues. "They have to fight for a better life for their children, and for their neighbors," said Kuti.

The artist, who was named Midem 2019 Artist Ambassador, was later joined on stage by producer Sodi, who spoke about his experience working with both Fela and Femi Kuti, and resisting making "standardized African music."

Check out the full interview below.

Midem Talks, a Talk with Femi Anikulapo Kuti, Singer, New Afrika Shrine (Nigeria) www.youtube.com

Music
Image: Nabsolute Media

Reekado Banks Recalls The Carnage of The #EndSARS Protests In Single 'Ozumba Mbadiwe'

The Nigerian singer pays his respects to those lost during last year's #EndSARS protests.

Nigerian singer and songwriter Reekado Banks is back with a track that is as socially important as it is a banger. It seems fitting for the singer's first solo release of the year to be a tribute to his fellow countrypeople fighting for a country that they all wish to live in. The 27-year-old Afrobeats crooner has returned with endearing track 'Ozumba Mbadiwe', honoring the one-year anniversary of the #EndSARS protests that saw the Nigerian government authorize an onslaught of attacks on Nigerian citizens for their anti-government demonstrations.

The protests took the world by storm, additionally because the Nigerian government insists that none of the police brutality happened. In an attempt to gaslight the globe, Nigerian officials have come out to hoards to deny any and all accusations of unlawfully killing peaceful protesters. Banks mentions the absurd denials in the track, singing "October 20, 2020 something happened with the government, they think say we forget," in the second verse. Reekado's reflective lyrics blend smoothly and are supported by the upbeat, effortless Afrobeat rhythm.

In another reflective shoutout to his home, 'Ozumba Mbadiwe' is named after a popular expressway on Lagos Island that leads to the infamous Lekki Toll Gate where protesters were shot at, traumatized, and murdered. Although packed with conscious references, the P.Priime produced track is a perfect amalgamation of the talents that Reekado Banks has to offer; a wispy opening verse, a hook to kill, and an ethereal aura to mark this as a song as a hit. On "Ozumba Mbadiwe," all the elements align for Reekado's signature unsinkable sound to take flight.

Check out Reekado Bank's lyric video for his single 'Ozumba Mbadiwe'

Reekado Banks - Ozumba Mbadiwe (Lyric Video) www.youtube.com

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

Tems Is Just Doing Her Thang In New Music Video 'Crazy Tings'

The Nigerian songstress is hell bent on taking over your summer playlist and it's getting harder to resist.