909 News

Bridge Artist of the Week: The Kuti Family

For our Bridge Artist of the Week, we're spotlighting three generations of history through Afrobeat music pioneer and activist Fela Kuti, his son Femi, and grandson Made.

Through an invigorating sound that combined West African rhythms with American jazz and funk complexities, Fela Kuti confronted corrupt and oppressive systems of power, starting in his home country of Nigeria. He produced 50 albums over a 30-year career, developing a musical style that became synonymous with resistance and change. 

The oldest of Fela's children, Femi started out as a saxophone player in his dad's band, Egypt 80. His created his own band, Positive Force — which his son Made would later join — while speaking out about political and social disenfranchisement. Femi and Made carry on their birthrights of Afrobeat and activism with a contemporary perspective, in a new double album package entitled “Legacy +.” 

Femi's album, "Stop the Hate," honors his father in “a traditionally fun, sharply political, and affirming way,” according to press materials. "For(e)ward," the debut album from 25-year-old Made, is a "modern and progressive freedom manifesto, pushing boundaries of the subgenre even further." It also features the virtuoso musician performing every instrument.

And just last week — more than two decades after his passing — Fela Kuti was nominated for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Tune in to hear more from the Kuti family all week! Listen on air, stream online, via our App or your smart speaker by saying “Play The Bridge from TuneIn / IHeartRadio."

Related article