Femi Kuti

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Femi Kuti
Kuti performing 10 November 2008
Photo: Carlos Fernández San Millán
Background information
Birth name Olufela Olufemi Anikulapo Kuti
Born (1962-06-16) 16 June 1962 (age 53)[1]
London, United Kingdom
Origin Lagos, Lagos State, Nigeria
Genres Afrobeat, Jazz
Occupation(s) singer-songwriter, instrumentalist
Instruments Saxophone, Vocals, Trumpet, Keyboard
Years active 1978–present
Associated acts Egypt 80, Positive Force, Wizkid, Common, Mos Def


Music sample
Performance at Warszawa Cross Culture Festival – 25 September 2011

Olufela Olufemi Anikulapo Kuti (born 16 June 1962), popularly known as Femi Kuti, is a Nigerian musician and the eldest son of afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti.[2]


Femi was born in London to Fela and Remi Kuti and grew up in the former Nigerian capital, Lagos. His mother soon left his father, taking Femi to live with her. In 1977, however, Femi chose to move in with his father. Femi started playing the Saxophone at age 15 and he eventually became a member of his father's band.[3]

Like his father, Femi has shown a strong commitment to social and political causes throughout his career.[4]

He created his own band Positive Force in the late 1980s with Dele Sosimi (Gbedu Resurrection), former key-board player of Fela Anikulapo Kuti. His international career began in 1988 when he was invited by the French Cultural Centre in Lagos and Christian Mousset to perform at the Festival d'Angoulême (France), the New Morning Club in Paris and the Moers Festival in Germany.

In 2001, Femi collaborated on his album Fight to Win with a number of U.S. musicians, including Common, Mos Def, and Jaguar Wright.[5]

In 2002, Femi's mother, who had played an influential role in Femi's life, died at the age of 60. Femi's son currently appears as part of his act, playing alto saxophone.

Also in 2002, Femi contributed a remake of his father's classic song, "Water No Get Enemy", to Red Hot & Riot, a compilation CD in tribute to Fela Kuti that was released by the Red Hot Organization and MCA. His track was created in collaboration with hip hop and R&B artists, D'Angelo, Macy Gray, The Soultronics, Nile Rodgers, and Roy Hargrove, and all proceeds from the CD were donated to charities dedicated to raising AIDS awareness or fighting the disease.

Femi Kuti's voice is featured in the videogame Grand Theft Auto IV, where he is the host of radio station IF 99 (International Funk 99, described as "playing a great selection of classics from West Africa, the US and elsewhere").[6]

In similar fashion as his father, there have been complaints of Kuti's criticism of his homeland Nigeria, specifically in the song "Sorry Sorry".[7] "What Will Tomorrow Bring" and "97".

Femi has been nominated for a Grammy award four times in the world music category in 2003, 2010, 2012 and 2013 but has never won.[8]

On 19 December 2014 a management deal between Chocolate City Music Group and Femi Kuti was reached. The news was announced via the Chocolate City Music official instagram account, as well as Audu Maikori social media accounts.[9]

Live Performances[edit]

On 24 April 2015, Femi Kuti headlined the 2 Kings concert alongside his brother Seun Kuti. The concert is significant as it is the first concert that the brothers have performed together.[10]



Live albums[edit]

  • Africa Shrine (Live CD) (2004, P-Vine)
  • Live at the Shrine (Deluxe Edition DVD) + Africa Shrine (Live CD) (2005, Palm Pictures/Umvd)


  • The Best of Femi Kuti (2004, Umvd/Wraase)
  • Femi Kuti The Definitive Collection (2007, Wrasse Records)




  • No Cause For Alarm? (1989, Polygram)
  • M.Y.O.B. (1991, Meodie)
  • "Ala Jalkoum" (on the album Rachid Taha Live) (2001, Mondo Melodia)


Year Title Album Director Ref
2013 The World Is Changing No Place for my Dreams N/A [11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "A Short Story About Femi". Femi A Kuti Official Website. 
  2. ^ Birchmeier, Jason. "Biography: Femi Kuti". AMG. Retrieved 9 May 2010. 
  3. ^ "A Short Story About Femi". Official Website of Femi A Kuti. 
  4. ^ "Femi Kuti: Blending Afrobeat And Politics". CNN. 11 November 2009. 
  5. ^ "Fight To Win". Wrasse Records. 
  6. ^ "Femi Kuti Builds on His Father's Legacy". CNN. 11 May 2011. 
  7. ^ Okechukwu Jones Asuzu (2006). The Politics of Being Nigerian. Lulu.com. p. 97. ISBN 978-1-4116-1956-2. 
  8. ^ "Breaking news: Femi Kuti Loses Grammy Prize". Nigerian Entertainment Today. 12 February 2012. Retrieved 7 March 2012. 
  9. ^ "Femi Kuti Biography". AFROBIOS. Retrieved 19 December 2014. 
  10. ^ "‘2Kings Concert’: Femi & Seun Kuti To Perform Together For First Time". Sahara Reporters. 22 April 2015. Retrieved 17 May 2015. 
  11. ^ "New Video – The World Is Changing By Femi Kuti". Pulse Nigeria. Pulse Mix. Retrieved 29 April 2013. 

External links[edit]