Oluseun Anikulapo Kuti, popularly known as Seun Kuti is a Nigerian Afrobeat singer. He is the youngest son of the legendary afrobeat godfather – Fela Kuti and the younger brother of the popular Afrobeat singer, Femi Kuti. He is also the leader of the Egypt 80 band, his father’s former band.
Seun Kuti Background And Career
Oluseun was born on the 11th of January, 1983, to Fela Kuti and Fehintola Anikulapo Kuti in Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria. He indicated his interest in music at age five when he told his father he would love to sing to him.
After four years, Seun Kuti started following his father to shows and sang with the Egypt 80 band to open every show. After his performance, his father, Fela Anikulapo Kuti would take over from him and perform for the remaining part of the show.
Seun became a full-fledged member of the Egypt 80 band before he clocked twelve because he was good at playing the saxophone, and percussion instruments. All through his teen years, Seun was involved in both the band and school work.
As Leader Of Egypt 80
In 1997, he lost his dad to the cold hands of death. He then took over as the leader of the Egypt 80 band. He assumed this role to fulfil his father’s wishes. To date, Seun Kuti is still the leader of Fela’s Egypt 80 band.
At age eighteen, Seun Kuti decided he would love to follow his father’s footsteps and become a full-time revolutionary musician. Seun’s songs are a mix of his tunes and his father’s tunes.
Seun has a daughter – Adara Anikulapo Kuti, with his girlfriend, Yetunde George Ademiluyi, popularly known as Chef Yeide. Chef Yeide is an Executive Chef at Kuti’s Bistro.
Seun Kuti’s Musical Tour And Big Break
Seun’s music has received both international and local applauds and praises. He has been on several tours and has performed to his enthusiastic fan base in Detroit, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Paris, London, Tokyo, and Lagos.
In 2011, Seun Kuti got his big break with the album – From Africa with Fury: Rise. The album was produced by the Knitting Factory Records and co-produced by Brian Eno and John Reynolds.
The album was listed on billboards and international digital charts. Despite all his accomplishments, Seun Kuti always credits his late dad as the number one of afrobeat. The afrobeat superstar still works with some of his late father’s producers.
Thus far, Seun has consistently walked in his father’s footsteps as a political activist. He was part of the participants of the Occupy Nigeria protest against the removal of fuel subsidy in January 2012. Seun Kuti is also a strong advocate for the legalization of weed.
Seun Kuti’s Albums
- Think Africa (12″, 2007)
- Many Things (CD & LP album, 2008, Tôt ou Tard)
- Many Things (CD & LP album, 2008, Disorient Records)
- From Africa With Fury: Rise (2011, Knitting Factory Records/Because of Music)
- A Long Way To the Beginning (2014, Knitting Factory Records)
- Struggle Sounds (EP, 2016, Sony Masterworks)
- Black Times (CD & LP album, 2018, Strut Records)
Seun Kuti’s Songs
- Beasts of No Nation – 1989
- Na Oil – 2007
- Think Africa – 2007
- Many Things – 2008
- Mosquito Song – 2008
- Fire Dance – 2008
- Don’t Give That Shit to me – 2008
- African Problems – 2008
- Giant of Africa – 2011
- For Them Eye – 2011
- The Good Leaf – 2011
- You Can Run – 2011
- Slave Masters – 2011
- African Soldier – 2011
- Mr. Big Thief – 2011
- Rise – 2011
- Black Woman – 2014
- Higher Consciousness – 2014
- IMF – 2014
- Ohun Aiye – 2014
- African Smoke – 2014
- Kalakuta Boy – 2014
- African Airways – 2014
- Gimme My Vote Back – 2016
- Struggle Sounds – 2016
- African Dreams – 2016
- Black Times – 2017
- Kuku Kee Me – 2018
- Theory of Goat and Yam – 2018
- Last Revolutionary – 2018
- Bad Man Lighter – 2018
Seun Kuti Quotes
“Freedom can never be given. Freedom is a decision taken by the oppressed against their oppressor.”
“Any other attitude other than that of resistance when one is under oppression is pathological.”
“Just because the masses all do something doesn’t mean that’s the thing to do, that’s a sheep’s mentality.”
“When you don’t like yourself as an African, you can never like another Africa brother or sister.”
“Let’s approach each other with love, respect, and understanding, the way Nkrumah would want, the way Sankara would want, the way Fela would want, not with hate like our oppressors.”
“African people, let’s heal each other, not kill each other.”
“We can’t keep celebrating the commercialism of our existence without embracing the sacrifice for our freedom.”
“It’s important for the sheep to know why the shepherd protects it from the wolf is not out of love, but so that he can exploit the sheep and at the end, kill it himself. The sheep don’t win here…”
“I believe it’s time for an African people-powered highway. A highway that will connect the Diaspora and Motherland. A global highway for African people all over the world to rediscover themselves. To remember that the only thing that unites black people globally, the only thing we all have in common, is that we are from Africa.”
Seun Kuti’s Awards And Nominations
- Best World Music Album nominee at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards – 2018
Entrepreneurial Lesson From Seun Kuti
Let Your Passion Lead You
As an entrepreneur, you should know yourself well, so that you can easily identify what you’re passionate about. Then, build a career around it. Seun Kuti always loved singing from childhood. He believed so much in his father’s dreams that he decided to work with the vision until it becomes a reality.
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