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My Daily AfroBeat Inspiration

Fela Anikulapo Kuti, the “James Brown” of Nigeria and father of Afrobeat has been sampled by everyone from Nas, Fatboy Slim, Cannibus, The Roots and Mos Def to name a few. So this morning as I’m going through my daily routine searching the iTunes library and google for new musical inspiration, I play some Fela, Janelle Monae, Mulatu Astatke, Tony Allen and Hector Lavoe. What a combination, right?!?!
Check out the link I found to a mixtape released by MonsterMondays called Swizz Beatz vs Fela Kuti Part 1.

I’m feeling great! These sounds are all so different yet familiar. I grew up on this music. Records, cassettes or CD’s playing in our home.  In my West African dance classes.  By the way, I prefer Senegalese… it gets my juices flowing. Lol. At my father’s gigs or in his studio. Concerts with my mother.  My brothers’ jam sessions and my sisters and I acting like the I-Threes.  As I’m listening I visualize videos I’ve seen and the play Fela! on Broadway, which I saw summer of 2010. A wonderful show produced by Jay-Z, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith.

Inspired by his native African music along with sounds from around the globe, Fela is by far one of my favorite composers of all times.  In my humble opinion, his background singers are almost never in tune but they have a place and fit perfectly in the ensemble.  The combination of their voices which create beautiful harmonies along with the electrifying dancers is just amazing.  Simply dynamic horns and percussion section maintain the beat. West African beat meets jazz, funk, soul, and latin groove. So I’m rocking to Gentleman, Water No Get Enemy, No Agreement and Shakara.

I’m feeling great and I’m excited about what today will bring!

Everybody say Yeah! Yeah!