This October, we honor the would-be 79th birthday of a legend—Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, the revolutionary mastermind behind Afrobeat, a genre that has shaped the musical landscape of Africa and the world. A prodigious composer and a fierce political maverick, Fela's life was a melody of courage and defiance that still echoes today. His passing in 1997 left a void in African music and activism, but his spirit charges on through a vibrant new generation of Nigerian artists.
Dive into our exclusive feature where voices across generations—from fuji to juju, from the pulsating beats of hip-hop (Afrobeats) to the rhythmic swirls of highlife—reflect on Fela's indelible impact. Discover how these artists navigate Fela's towering legacy and continue to reinvent the sound he pioneered.
Join us in this soul-stirring journey, produced by the dynamic duo Banning Eyre and Morgan Greenstreet, with the captivating Sahr Ngaujah at the helm. Click through to experience the enduring power of Fela's music and message—a saga of artistry and resistance that forever altered the rhythm of African music. Don't miss out—immerse yourself in the story of a lifetime!
Listen to the full episode here and let Fela's rhythm move you.
Planet Afropop: Brazil Update, The Indigenous Edition
Step into the dynamic world of Brazil in this latest episode of Planet Afropop. We turn the spotlight on the nation's indigenous people and their advocates within the bubbling cauldron of culture and challenge.
Experience a compelling conversation with Margareth Menezes, the acclaimed musician and Brazil's Minister of Culture, as she discusses the role of art in social change. Get exclusive access to a behind-the-scenes chat with Carlinhos Brown, whose legendary music echoes the spirit of Brazil, at the Central Park Summer Stage in NYC.
The episode further enriches with Emicida, a renowned musician, rapper, and cultural activist, as he offers his profound insights on art and activism.
Prepare to be moved by Episode #004 as it brings you closer to the heartbeats of Brazil's culture and the icons who shape it.
Check out the full episode here and delve into the authentic stories of Brazil.
Afropop Worldwide's 35th Celebration Begins in D.C.
Afropop Worldwide began its 35th-anniversary celebrations with a bang in D.C., featuring Samba Mapangala's band's irresistible grooves and Jaja Bashengezi's masterful guitar. The night came alive as the rhythms shifted from mellow rumba to exuberant soukous, leading everyone to the dance floor with moves that sang of Congo's soul.
But the festivities have just begun. Next Friday, the full ensemble takes over SOBs in NYC for an expanded celebration—complete with extra guitars, singers, and dancers to teach you the steps. And let's not forget the contemporary Congolese art exhibition, adding another layer of cultural vibrancy.
Ready for more? Click through for a glimpse of what's to come and secure your spot at the next Afropop dance extravaganza!
Join us on November 10th for an Afropop Dance PartyinNYC!
Afropop Worldwide & Afropop.org celebrate their 35th anniversary of sharing African music, art, & culture with the world at the legendary music venue S.O.B.'s. For over 40 years, S.O.B.'s has served as a hubspot for African music in New York City. The evening will feature musical performances from some of Africa's most renowned artists (including Samba Mapangala with Jaja Bashengezi, Ngouma Lokito, and Nkumu Katalay) and DJ Henri, who will be spinning a mix of soukous, rumba, afrobeats, soca, highlife, African reggae, & more.
Dance the night away and experience the best of African culture in support of Afropop Worldwide! See the event listing here for more information.
Afropop Staff: Sean Barlow, Executive Producer Banning Eyre, Senior Producer Mukwae Wabei Siyolwe, Director of Development Ceyvion Biggs, Director of New Media and Operations Michael Jones, Chief Audio Engineer (jonesaudio.com) CC Smith, Editor at Large