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Student Cultural Center

Wednesday, July 12, Courtyard of the Student Cultural Center at 21.00

Those who have followed his career and have experienced his music know this for a fact: Femi
Kuti never felt just satisfied with being the king's heir, Fela Kuti. He freed himself from his father's legacy in 1985 by putting together his own band, The Positive Force, and thereby working to find his own voice. During the ‘90s he became a renowned artist in his own right, with a distinctive, colourful and balanced style.

In 1998 he took on the Afrobeat sound with his first international album Shoki Shoki, before rubbing shoulders with the modern urban style of his American peers such as Mos Def and Common on the album Fight To Win. Finally his first studio record only came about in 2008, having found inspiration in Paris. This unanimously celebrated release Day By Day was his most successful. For 2011 album Africa for Africa Femi felt he needed to go back to his roots back to the studio where he had produced his first recordings with his father and his solo album Shoki Shoki. Decca Studio, soon to become Afrodisia Records in the '70s, was the experimenting ground for most Nigerian masterpieces of the time, including those of Fela.

If Africa for Africa was the return to the roots then subsequent album No Place for My Dream
(2013) was the growth from these roots. Ever pushing the boundaries of the genre, Femi’s
central aim for this work was a redefining of the essence of Afrobeat – but in the modern age.
In Femi’s words Afrobeat remains “making people dance while helping them swallow the bitter pill of reality”. Fela used to say that Afrobeat was “the weapon of the future - designed to resist, not to fight”.

More recently, Femi has been named Amnesty’s ‘African Advocate’ for their landmark 50th
Anniversary. He has also won the UK magazine Songlines ‘Artist of the Year’ award, and been asked to join legendary US rock act the Red Hot Chili Peppers on their tour through Europe. At the same time, his Lagos-based 2000 capacity New Afrika Shrine still carries the Afrobeat torch week in and week out; so much so that it has become one of the only last dynamic temples for live African music. 

CEBEF prepares and organizes film, music and multimedia ambient festivals with a tradition spanning over decades.


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