Topic: Felabration

Felabration Boston

Felabration Boston with Federator No. 1 and Uhuru Afrika

Erich Ludwig of the local Afrobeat outfit Federator No. 1 talks with DigBoston about Fela Kuti, Afrobeat and Felabration and the upcoming event at Middle East Upstairs in Boston.

“Local Felabration! boosters say that their event is not only a tribute to Fela’s music, but also to his powerful political message. The Nigerian icon and activist’s art is known for serving as a voice against oppression and racial injustice in 1970s Africa, while rhythmically, he’s best known for developing the signature Afrobeat sound, a sophisticated yet accessible genre that blends traditional Yoruba flavor with jazz, funk, and soul…

There’s definitely a message [in Afrobeat] that people are drawn to that [which] focuses on racial disparities … That people understand that message consciously or subconsciously is an important part of why Afrobeat is facing a renaissance or revival …

Take Fela’s song “Gentleman,” for instance: what he’s saying here is, “When I’m facing struggle, I don’t have to be nice. I can stand up and speak. I can be angry.” In this moment that’s really relevant, talking and thinking about Black Lives Matter and white people getting bent out of shape about it. Fela’s music speaks to the reality that we are in the same situation we’ve been in for a long time and it’s OK for people to be angry. It’s OK for us to express these things.

Also, take the song “Zombie,” which is about soldiers mindlessly following orders. In Ferguson, we saw police in riot gear mindlessly following orders. It’s the same thing, the message is, “Wake up, you’re being zombie” … If we open our eyes, these examples are there.”

Read more HERE.

BBC Radio Talks Felabration London!

BBC Radio Talks Felabration London!

BBC Radio joins us in anticipation of the British Library’s London Felabration! Dele Sosimi will appear on the Robert Elms show on October 14th to talk about Felabration & Fela. Dele will be playing live with his band on this show! Tune in tomorrow at 2pm London time to listen LIVE!

BBC Radio Talks Felabration London!

The Quietus on Fela Kuti Tribute Concerts and Vinyl Releases

The Quietus, an online magazine covering music, film, books, art, TV and popular/unpopular culture, talks about the 2015 London Felabration along with the reissue of six of the finest Fela Kuti albums.

“Fela Anikulapo Kuti would have been 77 on Thursday (October 15) and in addition to the album reissues, a celebratory tribute concert is set to take place in London on Friday (October 16), at the British Library. The lineup features former Egypt ‘80 keyboard player Dele Sosimi and his 16-piece Afrobeat Orchestra, plus long-time Fela drummer Tony Allen who was a member of Fela’s early highlife-jazz group Koola Lobitos and Africa ‘70 throughout the late 1960s and 70s. Over the evening they will be joined onstage by a huge guest list of artists inspired by Fela’s work, including 2face Idibia, Laura Mvula, Shingai Shoniwa, Afrikan Boy, Terri Walker and many more.

Dele Sosimi said: “To celebrate Fela is more than an honour – it’s my duty. Fela is the reason Afrobeat music is what it is, and he is the reason Afrobeat music is in my DNA, coursing through the essence of my being and coming out in the various formats in which I perform, to a devout worldwide audience of Afrobeat enthusiasts who will take advantage of every opportunity to savour and appreciate, and gyrate to, this unique genre. The legacy of Fela will live on and pass on from us onto the next generation ad infinitum! Long live Fela! Long live Afrobeat!”

The latest batch of records from the Nigerian Afrobeat pioneer to be repressed includes five key albums from Fela’s prolific mid-70’s period with his Africa ’70 group: Roforofo Fight (1972), Alagbon Close (1974), Everything Scatter (1975), Na Poi (1976) and Fear Not For Man (1977); along with 1989’s Beasts Of No Nation with the Egypt ’80 line-up. All records appear housed in artist Lemi Ghariokwu’s iconic sleeves and come with a download and liner notes by Afrobeat historian Chris May. The records showcase a key period in Fela’s development of Afrobeat as a form of music and the political philosophy of the lyrics and were originally released on Nigerian labels. The albums will be available on vinyl from this Friday (October 16).”

Read more HERE.

Countdown to Felabration Continues!

Countdown to Felabration Continues!

Felabrations around the world are beginning to get ready for the annual festival of music and arts commemorating the life and times of Nigerian’s foremost musical icon, the late great Fela Anikulapo Kuti. The idea and concept of Felabration as an annual celebration of Fela’s music, life and times, originated from his eldest child Yeni who conceived it in 1998. The world’s largest Felabration will take place in Nigeria at the New Afrika Shrine (Ikeja) this year in just a few days! The massive week-long festival begins on Monday October 12 and is preceded by this year’s senior secondary schools debate on the topic “Poverty is not an Accident” and the October 12th debates on the topic “Human Rights as My Property.”

Felabration in London is spearheaded by the British Library’s “Late at the Library: Felabration!” with a sold out show for October 16th! Stay tuned for more information about a live streaming event right here on!

Felabrations across the US have also been announced including the following shows:

10/13-10/17 – Atlanta, GA – Multiple Venues – Spreadlove – Felabration
10/15 – Cambridge, MA – The Middle East
10/16 – Los Angeles, CA – Echoplex
10/16 – San Francisco, CA – Brick and Mortar
10/16 – Washington, DC – Old Engine 12 Firehouse
10/17 – Oakland, CA – The New Parish
10/17 – Brooklyn, NY – X Marks The Lot
10/18 – Chicago, IL – The Shrine
10/23 – Houston, TX – The Flat
10/30 – Chicago, IL – Maria’s

Please visit an event and show your FELAdarity!

Chicago Shrine announces Felabration 2015

Chicago Shrine announces Felabration 2015

The Chicago Shrine, a venue that takes its name from the personal nightclub of legendary Nigerian musician/human rights activist Fela Kuti has announced it’s Felabration 2015 event!

The Shrine has established itself as Chicago’s home for soulful music across an eclectic cross-section of genres including, Afro Beat, Hip Hop, R&B, Soul, Funk, Disco, House, Reggae and Dancehall. The Shrine’s Felabration will be held on Sunday, October 18th and will feature DJ’s Tone B. Nimble, Sadar & Darryn Jones – Hosted by Obi Soulstar. Complimentary Food & a Special Dance Performance! Free Entry B4 10pm w/ RSVP. Click here to read MORE.

BBC Radio Talks Felabration London!

British Library announces “Late at the Library: Felabration!”

Super-charged only begins to describe the planned Felabration at the British Library on October 16, 2015! The British Library has just announced a line up that includes The Dele Sosimi Afrobeat Orchestra, Tony Allen, 2face Idibia, Laura Mvula, Shingai Shoniwa, Afrikan Boy, Terri Walker, The Floacist, Bumi Thomas, Audrey Gbaguidi, Ed Keazor, The Trinity College Afrobeat Ensemble and DJ Kochi Sakai. For all Fela London based fans tickets are available (£25) + info: | +44 (0)1937 546546 |
Facebook event:

‘Late at the Library: Felabration!’ is part of the British Library’s ‘West Africa: Word, Symbol, Song’ exhibition which opens on the same day ( The exhibition uses beautiful manuscripts, sound, film and more, tracing the written and oral cultural history of West Africa for the past three centuries. ‘Late at the Library: Felabration!’ includes free access (until 10pm) to the exhibition.

As a warm up to Felabration, from 18:45 to 20:00, in the Conference Centre of the British Library, Nigerian artist and graphic designer Lemi Ghariokwu talks about creating the iconic sleeves for most of Fela Kuti’s albums, and their close personal and artistic relationship, which gave him an instinctive, complex and highly creative response to the music and its social and political messages.
Tickets (£5) + info:

And for those wanting to dig deeper, check out the screening of Alex Gibney’s 2014 documentary ‘Finding Fela’, followed by live conversations with Fela’s manager Rikki Stein, as well as Dele Sosimi, Lemi Ghariokwu, 2face Idibia, Tony Allen and other special guests, on Saturday, 17 October, 14:00, at the Conference Centre in the British Library.
Tickets (£8) + info:

Anticipation begins for Felabration 2015!

Felabration is the annual festival of music and arts commemorating the life and times of Nigerian’s foremost musical icon, the late great Fela Anikulakpo Kuti and Felabrations around the world are organising for dates in October 2015!

The Nigerian news outlet “The Nation” writes, “Only God can forgive those who think that Fela Anikulapo Kuti was just a smoker and serial womanizer during his life time. Over the years, the iconic legend of Afrobeat, has remained relevant, not only to Nigerians but to music lovers world over.
Undoubtedly, Fela, who died on August 2, 1997, made an impact on the society during his time.

His unique music has attracted many musicians and individuals. Moreso, his lifestyle and habit made him a brand many people wanted to associate with. Unfortunately for copycats, they found it difficult and failed to get the Fela edge. Nevertheless, Fela wannabes, through emulation, ensure that the icon lives on.

Fela was typically extolled for using his music as a potent weapon to fight injustice, military tyranny and oppression while also advocating for a better Nigeria, nay Africa. He dared the Nigerian government of his time for entrenching corruption and human rights abuses. His view as regards socio-cultural trend was beyond ordinary. Indeed, he was the Abami Eda (The Strange One). In that light, it might not be erroneous if anyone proclaims Fela as a prophet of his time. His words, especially through his music reverberated with prophetic outcomes. Many of what he sang about happened or are still happening, making him very relevant in present times.

While alive, Fela was also known for being on the side of the people. His commune, the Kalakuta Republic in Ikeja, Lagos, which is currently a museum, was home to many. He stood on what he believed to be right without fear, which attests to the fact that he was a brave man, even if he did suffer several beatings by military goons and devious prison terms for maintaining his stance.
And since Fela’s death, his family members, associates and advocates, have been holding his memories and legacies aloft through the annual week-long festival of music tagged Felabration.

Felabration attracts thousands of people from across the world to the New Africa Shrine to keep his legacies alive in grand style. This year’s Felabration would be different – it promises to be a grander celebration of arguably the most iconic multi-instrumentalist ever to come out of Africa.”