Tuesday, 13 July 2010
Lemi! from Fela Kuti on Vimeo.
I went to a very interesting discussion about Afrobeat last year put together by Arts Own Kind, and Lemi and Tony Allen were there (as were Wunmi, Dele Sosimi and Rich Medina). One of the points that came up was that Fela was Afrobeat - he was the creator and everything that came afterwards was very much in his image. If you've seen the film Music Is The Weapon you can see just what an enigma he was, and how there was very little room for other stars to shine brightly near him. Since his passing however there seems to be some more space and we're hearing more and more about the stories of his collaborators.
Lemi is a lovely and hilarious guy, and they say that he was actually one of the instigators who encouraged Fela to become as political as he did - you can see the glint in his eye when he explains that his favourite covers are the "troublemaking albums". Knitting Factory Records have just reissued a lot of Fela's catalogue and you can buy a 2x2 limited edition poster of Yellow Fever here which comes with a digital version of the album.
Via The Fader