If being the son of African musical legend Fela is a burden, you’d never know it from meeting Seun Kuti. He carries his inheritance with modesty and style. When Fela died in 1997, Seun assumed leadership of his father’s band, Egypt 80. He was only 14. It was an audacious move, but it worked. He kept the flame burning. Now with the release of his second album, “From Africa with Fury: Rise,” Seun continues Fela’s musical and political legacy, while reigniting Afrobeat with a jolt of energy and precision.
We first met Seun in Lagos while filming the pilot episode of SOUND TRACKS, our music series for PBS. We were impressed then. But the performances we filmed on his recent U.S. tour show that Seun and the band are more potent and dynamic than ever.
Don't miss other Quick Hits starring Dengue Fever, Charles Bradley & Sharon Jones, Helene Grimaud, Jovanotti, KT Tunstall, Meklit Hadero, Ozomatli, and Seu Jorge. For more info visit Sound Tracks's site.
Seun apologized for being jet-lagged – those Europe to California hauls can wear you out – but he made time to talk with SOUND TRACKS reporter Mirissa Neff before his show at the Regency Ballroom in San Francisco.
Seun recalls playing Fela’s saxophone, comments on the Arab Spring protests, and bemoans the political nepotism and corruption that have frustrated the aspirations of African youth. Then he went upstairs and blew the crowd away with an all-out, sweat-drenched performance. Don’t miss his dance moves at the end. Stripped to the waist, Seun looks more like a soccer star than a bandleader.
Seun Kuti’s website
“Black President” our SOUND TRACKS story about Fela and Seun Kuti