Well, I can’t really talk about Femi, without talking about Fela.
The Felabrations are in full swing, particularly in Nigeria. But other Fela fans around the world are also doing their bit to celebrate this very complex legend.
Apart from creating music that certainly transports me into another world, Fela Anikulapo Kuti was a political activist who got arrested pretty much every time he released a new single, because he criticised the government.
The current president Buhari, even through him in Jail back in the 80s when he was a dictator.
Despite tmarrying 28 wives (27 of them at the same time), he was also fighting for women’s rights and Funmilayo Kuti, his mother, was the first woman in Nigeria to drive a car.
In short. You think you get Fela, but then you don’t. that’s certainly how I feel. And though everything he did wasn’t wise, I admire that he always followed his heart and gave every cause he worked for his absolutely all.
His music has inspired and is still inspiring great artists such as Paul McCartny, Michael Jackson and Alicia Keys as well as Nigerian acts like Wizkid.
Fela is such a complex and interesting character that describing him is difficult. I don’t think there’ll ever be someone quite like him.
For the Felabrations here in Oslo, I went to a screening of Finding Fela, a lovely film everyone should watch. Whether you know fela or not.
‘RIP Fela. May your soul be united with your loved ones.
I know. It looks so easy. Recording in the studio, appearing in the media, performing on shows, getting nominated and winning awards and have lots of fans telling yu every day how much they adore you.
Yes. There is this side to being an artist. And nothing feels more fulfilling and rewarding than, when you do these things and they go well.
But to get there, you need to work hard and take chances. Many artists before me have experienced working with dodgy labels, being rejected over and over and puzzle over how on earth to get together money for a good promo for their new single. Many artists after me will experience the same things. I am going through these things.
Though you know you’re not the only one going through these things, you can often feel really alone and isolated when you do. And it’s easy to lose faith in yourself and start a negative cycle of thoughts.
When I feel particularly down related to my career, I cheer myself up by reading, or listening to success stories of artists who are doing well now.
And who I see as my role models. One such artist is Femi Kuti. He is the son of the legendary Fela Kuti. And in my opinion, a legend himself.
I Recently came across a very lovely interview with him on youtube. Don’t let the title fool you. This is deep, personal and to me it was super inspiring.
I may not agree with every single of his viewpoints, but I share many of them and it would be a dream come true to one day work with him.
Not many, if any women is doing this type of pure afrobeat. With my soon-to-be released single, I’m going to be doing a pop version of it. But how cool wouldn’t it be to perform at at the Fela Shrine with Femi and his band?