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“Right now,” says Seun Kuti, “music is the only fuel that is backing the movement.”
Adamant and engaged, the stance fairly sums up the disposition of the 25-year-old Nigerian singer and bandleader. Kuti brims with the urgency of mission, and now, on the heels of a major international tour behind a highly lauded debut album, “Seun Kuti & Egypt 80,” he’s got himself a platform to match the scale of his searing social critique and righteous indignation.
And – of course – of his lineage. For Seun is the son, and arguably the designated heir, of the late Fela Anikulapo Kuti, the towering master of Afrobeat whose legacy well overflows the boundaries of music and art to take on the aspect of prophecy; an icon of social empowerment and personal liberation who lived his values, often at great risk, in defiance of a parade of military dictators and corrupt civilian rulers, while rendering them in a perfected transatlantic synthesis of funk, jazz, and West African groove.