Seun Kuti, the youngest son of Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti, has dedicated his life to preserving and expanding his father’s musical and political legacy. He took over as the leader of Fela’s former band, Egypt 80, after his father’s passing in 1997.
Born in 1983, Seun’s connection to his father’s music began at a young age. By the age of nine, he was performing with Egypt 80, singing a selection of songs before Fela took the stage. He joined the band as a saxophonist and percussionist before the age of 12, honoring his father’s wishes to carry on the music.
Seun’s musical journey led him to explore various African traditions, infusing his music with reflections of the continent’s struggles and cultures. His debut album, “Seun Kuti & Fela’s Egypt 80,” released in 2008, received both praise and criticism. He continued to tour globally, captivating audiences around the world with his energetic performances.
In 2011, Seun collaborated with Brian Eno and John Reynolds to produce his breakthrough album, “From Africa with Fury: Rise.” The album achieved success on international charts, solidifying his position as an influential musician. Seun Kuti & Egypt 80 embarked on relentless global tours, delivering multi-hour shows that combined improvisation and composition, staying true to Afrobeat’s overtly political nature.
While Seun Kuti acknowledges his father’s legacy and considers Fela to always be number one, he has also been instrumental in evolving Afrobeat with his unique musical style and expression.