popular
Mohamed El Hatmi. Photo by Stn Lens.

The Master Musicians of Joujouka

"In 1970, I found my way up into the Rif Mountains of Morocco where I encountered a tribe of musicians. I was so blown away by what I found there that I tore up my return ticket and stayed for a couple of years."

Music industry executive and longtime Fela Kuti manager, Rikki Stein, recollects his nearly five-decade-old history with the Master Musicians of Joujouka—from his first encounter with them in the 1970s, to them opening Glastonbury Festival in 2011, up until their recent performance at this year's Dior Defilé in Marrakech.

I've been very lucky. Over the past 50 years I've enjoyed the privilege of being around and working with some of the world's most gifted musicians, mostly as friends. I often hear it said that you should never work with friends. Rubbish! I only want to work with friends! Why? Because you can say more or less anything to your friends. It was on that basis that my friendship with Fela developed in the early eighties into a 15 year working relationship.

But much earlier, in 1970, I found my way up into the Rif Mountains of Morocco where I encountered a tribe of musicians. I was so blown away by what I found there that I tore up my return ticket and stayed for a couple of years. I'm talking about the Master Musicians of Joujouka.

Keep reading... Show less
popular

Listen to Some Fela Kuti Rarities In These New Videos

Fela's manager Rikki Stein and Stephen Budd share their Fela rarities including Colombian cumbia covers, first pressings and much more.

On the week of Fela Kuti's birthday it's only apt that we get some new insight into some of the rarer records from the king of afobeat.

The official Fela Kuti Youtube channel is now sharing three new videos that feature Fela's longtime manager, Rikki Stein, visiting the home of music industry executive Stephen Budd (OneFest Festival/Africa Express/NH7 Weekender), who happens to be an über Fela fan.

"There are a lot of people who are fans of Fela, nobody that I know reaches the heights that this man reaches in terms of seeking out rarities," mentions Rikki Stein.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

news.

popular.