“My body understood Fela’s music before my head” | Paul McCartney, Talib Kweli, other music icons share thoughts on Fela Anikulapo-Kuti

Fela, the irreverent, the maverick, the musical genius, the unfettered, Abami Eda, first of his name.

This day in 1997, the world received the news of the death of the greatest musician and disruptor of his time and indeed, now. Exactly two decades after his death, Fela Anikulapo Kuti remains a worldwide icon and a major influence for musical giants across genres.

The world remembers Fela today not only for his instructive and prophetic music but as a spiritual, philosophical and political movement.

These music personalities who are masters in their separate genres share their thoughts on Fela. Many of them never met the man, some never even physically witnessed any of his stage shows but 20 years on, Fela still wields the power to influence their own musical output.


Former member of The Beatles, Sir Paul McCartney

Godfather of the Funk, George Clinton

American hip-hop artist, Talib Kweli

Percussionist and co-founder of The Roots, Ahmir-Khalib Thompson

Congolese pianist and songwriter, Ray Lema

Legendary American choreographer and writer, Bill T Jones

American rapper and activist, Common

English composer, songwriter and visual artist, Brian Eno


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