News

Femi on FELA!: "The play is fantastic."


Despite rumors that Femi Kuti, Fela's eldest son, refused to see the Broadway production of his late father's musical, FELA!, during a recent visit to New York (had vowed to see it only if the show was brought to Lagos production back to Fela's legendary venue in Lagos, The Shrine), Femi attended a performance this week. It was a particularly emotional performance on Tuesday,  as Femi joined the cast on stage for the curtain call, tearfully sang a few bars of Gentleman with FELA! star Sahr Ngaujah, and called for African unity.

Femi, currently touring in the US, has a new album coming out later this year entitled Africa for Africa.

Check out more pictures and coverage from the the New York Times. But we'll post the best quote here from the article series, from ?uestlove, talking about their collabo on the Red, Hot, and Riot Fela tribute album back in the day:

“When Femi came to the studio to meet us, it was like a scene straight out of ‘Coming to America,’ ” the 1988 movie in which Eddie Murphy plays the prince of an imaginary African country, Mr. Thompson said. “He walked in like the king of Zamunda, with his entourage and all these royal-looking women, and me and Common and D’Angelo just looked at each other. But what was beautiful was that although he has his father’s charisma and authoritative stance, he is also very humble.”
Interview
Image supplied.

Interview: How Stogie T’s ‘Freestyle Friday’ Became a TV Show

Freestyle Friday started as lockdown content but is now a fully-fledged TV show on Channel O. In this interview, Stogie T breaks down why the show is revolutionary and talks about venturing into media.

When South Africa was put under a hard lockdown in 2020, Stogie T started Freestyle Friday to "make SA rap again." Freestyle Friday, hosted on Instagram, saw a different cohort of rappers each rap over the same beat picked by the veteran rapper. From niche and emerging rappers to some of the most notable names in South African hip-hop—the likes of AKA, Focalistic, Ginger Trill and several others all participated.

In the last few weeks, however, Freestyle Friday has found its way to cable TV. The show airs every Friday on Channel O, one of the continent's longest-running music TV channels. Freestyle Friday as a TV programme isn't just about freestyles, it's about the art of rapping and the music business, particularly SA hip-hop. Guests range from lyricists to record executives and other personalities aligned with the scene—Ninel Musson and Ms Cosmo for instance.

But Freestyle Friday is only the first media product Stogie T is working on as he is in the process of starting a podcast network, a venture in which he is collaborating with Culture Capital. In the Q&A below, Stogie T breaks down the relationship with Culture Capital, how the show moved from the internet to TV, why it's a revolutionary idea, touches on his venture into media and his future plans.

This interview has been edited for clarity and length.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

Interview: Made Kuti Talks Afrobeat, Activism & Family Legacy

We speak with Made about his debut album and the part he's playing in keeping the Kuti heritage alive.