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STYLISTIC ANALYSIS OF AFROBEAT MUSIC OF FELA ANIKULAPO KUTI Albert Oikelome PhD.

University Of Lagos, Akoka Yaba ABSTRACT Afrobeat, pioneered by Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, has been globally acclaimed as a unique popular musical typology which emerged from the continent of Africa. Although various studies have addressed its philosophical, sociological and linguistic perspectives, not much has been devoted to its stylistic study. There is therefore the need to undertake a stylistic analysis of Afrobeat music with the view to understanding the fragments that has been intelligently woven together to make the music a unique phenomenon. In doing this, we would identify the principles underlying the formation of Afrobeat. This will assist us in understanding the identity that distinguishes it from the mainstream of world music. Afrobeat, like every cultural product evolved from other styles. The challenge then is to identify these styles and see how Felá incorporated them into a distinctive genre called Afrobeat. This will help in better appreciation of the forms and structure of the musical genre. The study will also situate Felá¶s music into four artistic periods and analyse structural elements of the music. Samples drawn from each of the periods would be orchestrated and analyzed using the western from of music notation in order to establish the structure, form and compositional techniques of the composer The outcome of the study will define some standard features of Afrobeat genre and articulate some of the theories which could serve as a framework for further specialized studies of other related popular music genres. Keywords: Stylistic elements, music genre, Afrobeat, fusion, hybridity. Introduction Afrobeat, unique musical typology in the mainstream of popular music in Nigeria, has successfully transcended the local hemisphere thereby creating a new identity in both form and content with its unique instrumental sound, textual content and social fusion. What then is Afrobeat? In simplest terms, it is a coinage of two words; ³Afro´ and ³Beat´. The word ³Afro´ is the acronym of African organized sound while beat is a rhythmic counting pattern in relation to such music. However various definitions by several scholars agreed that the musical synthesis presented in this genre is defined by a fussion of foreign elements with a sociostylistic musical framework whose roots lie in traditional Yoruba music. According to Omibiyi (1981) Afrobeat is a fussion of soul music, European roots and Indian reggae. Akpabot (1986) defined Afrobeat as a fussion of conventional European dance band music with a rhythmic beat that entirely reflected new echoes of the Cuban music beat. While Oguigbe (2003) on the one hand defined the genre as Felá¶s interpretation of the fussion of African and Afro-American music which dominated the music scene in the early sixties, Collins (2002) sees the music as a fussion of stylistic elements drawn both from Felá¶s popular and traditional music culture, and from African-American popular styles, with heavy overtones of Afro-Latin music and modal jazz. To further buttress the way Felá was able to refashion many conventions of African American music within a West African cultural context, Veal (2004) remarked: In Felá¶s music, I recognised unmistakable echoes of diasporic African music innovators and styles: James Brown, John Coltrane, modal jazz band, funk, rhythm and blues, and salsa. At the same time, I recognised an overall spirit and use of many musical devises associated with West African music: tightly woven rhythmic pattern, vocal chants, call and response choruses, and an overall percussive approach to articulation among others (p. 34). This is in line with Graham¶s (1992) definition of fussion as a merger, or the resulting blend of musical styles or elements from more than one tradition. Ware (2006) posited further

that the major success of Felá Aníkúlápò Kútì is its fussion and blend which communicates beyond boundaries. From the foregoing definitions, it is clear that Afrobeat is a confluence of musical elements from various musical typologies. This, according to Potgieter (2003) is the fact that musical cultures are being influenced by each other in a modern and complex world. Prior studies have considered Afrobeat from the historical, sociological, philosophical, linguistic and political perspectives (Moore, 1982; Coester, 1997; Ayu, 1985; Veal, 2004; Oláníyan, 2004; Coker, 2004; Olorúnyomí 2005). However, the political intensity of his music as well as the intellectual orientation of the style relied significantly on a sophisticated compositional style in which foreign musical elements were woven with traditional African music to constitute a larger original form. There is therefore a need for the stylistic analysis of the music since little has been done in this aspect. This has become imperative when notable scholars like Omibiyi (1981) and Akpabot (1998) have advocated that African popular music should attract, to a very large extent, scholarly enquiries on analysis of its forms and styles. The present study investigates the various components that made up Afrobeat. More specifically, we seek to examine how Afrobeat evolved as a blend of foreign and indigenous music genres. For a better understanding of the stylistic analysis of Afrobeat music, the theoretical framework is based on the concept of identity. Waterman (2002) used this concept to explain the social role of music in postcolonial Africa. This concept, according to Waterman, has related concepts of the µself¶ and the µperson¶. The µself¶ is commonly represented as the internal face of the identity that is subjective, psychologically unified and real while the µperson¶ refers to the external, socially constructed, represented and enacted identity of the individual. Using the model on Yoruba music, Waterman views identity as a multidimensional product of interaction between self and the society. He evolved the concept of the µinner¶ and the µouter¶ eye. The inner eye (Ojú inú) is the locus of contemplation, imagination and creativity while the outer eye (Ojú òde) is the primary social organ, the locus of self-expression and the tactics of self-construction through interaction with others. The theory stated in the foregoing, is very relevant to the study in that a strong model of the µself¶ is embodied in Felá Aníkúlápò Kútì. The combination of the µinner¶ and µouter¶ surface of his identity was central to his authority as a musician. His artistic development sailed through conservatory music, broadcasting, highlife, highlife jazz, and finally Afrobeat. Felá¶s rise to fame was through a painstaking process of self-recognition, self-worth, dedication and thoughtful projection. These attributes ignited him to explore the creative potentialities which are inherent in his music tradition and to recombine foreign elements in a new order that would not be a departure from, but an enhancement of the revolutionary process and continuity of his musical tradition. The methods employed in collecting data on Felá Aníkúlápò Kútì and his works included in-depth interviews, Focus Group Discussion (FGD), key informant technique and life histories and biographies. The stylistic elements inherent in the music were investigated under four artistic periods and samples drawn from each of the periods were selected and analysed in order to establish the foreign and indigenous styles incorporated into the music. Afrobeat: Its origin and development The origin and development of Afrobeat cannot be complete without Felá Aníkúlápò Kútì. Born on October 15, 1938 to the family of Reverend Israel Olúdòtun Ransome-Kútì (19001955) and Mrs. Fúnmiláyò Thomas Ransome-Kútì (1900-1978) at Abéòkuta in Yorubaland, Felá manifested at an early age not only his budding musical talent, but also a tendency towards activism. This can be traced to the type of training he received from his elite parents who were also activists at one point or the other in their lives. His father was one of the founders of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) and a constant critic of the colonial masters. He was also a prolific composer of religious hymns and he is credited with being the author and composer of the Abéòkuta-Ègbá Anthem (Moore, 1982). From all accounts, Felá¶s first introduction to the

study of music was from his father whose strict discipline and authoritarian personality did not diminish off in the area of music teaching. According to Coker (2004), Felá excelled under his father¶s tutelage at his lessons in western music and distinguished himself as a musician at an early age. He was occasionally called upon to entertain his parents and their guests at the family piano by the time he was eight years old, by which time, Felá had gained competence in the ability to play music from the written score (Oroh, 1988). Interestingly, the mother also had a strong influence on his life when he was growing up. She was a social and political activist, constantly fighting for the liberation of the disenfranchised women in a conservative, male-dominated society (Coker, 2004). She founded the Abéòkuta Women Union in 1946 in response to the atrocities of the colonial government against market women, particularly in Abéòkuta. She was also highly involved in politics, traveling round the globe and aligning herself with International Women¶s Movements. Felá graduated from Abeokuta Grammar School in 1957 at the age of eighteen, a year after the death of his father3. He proceeded to Lagos where he was offered employment as a clerical officer with the ministry of commerce and industry. However, his interest remained in music. Felá¶s first professional musical experience was as a backing vocalist in Olaiya¶s band called the Cool Cats. Oláìyá attested to the fact that Felá joined his band with prior knowledge of music and a keen desire to learn the trumpet. Commenting to Uhakheme (1997) on the personality of Fela in the early sixties, Olaiya had this to say:
«Fela was a very restless and a very big rascal« I found traces of greatness in him«he had the tendency of going places ( pp. 12-20).

At the age of nineteen in August of 1958, Felá was able to convince his mother (his father had died in 1955) to go abroad to study music. With the help of his brother, Olíkóyè RansomeKútì1, he was able to secure admission into Trinity College of Music in London. While in London, he received musical training at the Trinity College of Music with emphasis on the theoretical and the practical aspects of western music and performance. According to Omójolà (2006) Felá was the most important musician of popular music genre in modern Nigeria to have been trained in a formal music institution, the prestigious Trinity College of Music, London. The musical training he received in the college accelerated his musical sophistication, thus providing him with easier access to styles that were difficult to obtain back home in Africa. His popular music experience in London started with the formation of a highlife group called highlife Rakers. Later on, the group¶s name was changed to Koola Lobitos. The major influence on Fela¶s musical style was his association with jazz exponents like Miles David, Lee Morgan, and Clifford Brown. In later years, jazz became a crucial ingredient in Fela¶s music, while the symbol of ³jazz´ became a complicated and contested signifier later in his career. He had a stint with highlife and jazz upon his return from Europe. However, his earlier experiment with highlife when he returned from London in 1964 did not yield much desired result. His earlier intention to provide a wide range of music including highlife and jazz led to a big failure. The reason for the lack of acceptance by the people was clear. Highlife was already a popular music genre in Lagos with such popular artistes as Bobby Benson, Roy Chicago, Victor Oláìyá, Rex Lawson, Eddie Okonta, Victor Uwaifo and many others performing in Lagos night clubs. These musicians were already drawing the crowds and making waves in highlife. Felá confessed that even his own mother, after listening to his performance advised him to ³start playing music your people understand, not jazz´ (Veal, 2004). Unable to cope with the dwindling fortune of his career, he left for Ghana in 1967 and thereupon started plotting strategies for a new musical direction. It was there he christened his style of music as ³Afrobeat´. He returned to Nigeria that same year and founded Afrospot where he performed

regularly to his fans. The turning point in his career came in 1969 with a musical tour of America at the peak of the Nigerian civil war. There he met and fell in love with Sandra Smith, a Black Panther and civil rights activist who radically altered his political vision. Sandra Smith introduced Fela to a number of political and musical ideas that broadened his world view. She gave him the much needed education about Africa, the heritage of the black and the civil rights movement. He heard for the first time things he had never known before about Africa. For the first time in his professional and ideological development, Felá began to think about such large issues about Africa, the world, culture and identity (Moore, 1982). He became familiar with political and cultural figures such as the Black Panthers, Kwame Toure, Angela Davies, Martin Luther King, Elijah Muhammad, Jesse Jackson, and Malcolm X. This led to his change in musical direction and a further embrace of Pan-Africanism using Afrobeat music as a weapon of struggle and political emancipation. On his return from America, Fela released a hit album entitled London Scene in 1970 and in 1971, changed the name of his band from ³Nigeria 70´ to the ³Africa 70´ while his club Afrospot, became Africa Shrine. By the time Fela released the chartbuster Jeun K¶ôkú in 1971, his position as the king of Afrobeat has been established. The development of Afrobeat of Felá Aníkúlápò Kútì can be grouped into four artistic periods. The first period was his experience with highlife in the early 60¶s (1964 ± 1969). The second period was in the 1970¶s when his music was at its apogee. At this time, his ideological stance had taken shape and become sufficiently concretised for him to successfully fuse an equally new musical vision with political commitment (1970 ± 1976). The third period was the post-1976 confrontation with the military, which so engaged him to the point that dealing with the military became the primary goal of his artistic expression (1977-1989). The final period was the re-ordering of his tunes into more of µyabis¶2 and chants (19901997). The Fussion In musical terms, Afrobeat clearly draws upon jazz, blues, soul, funk, afro latin, highlife and folksong elements and grafts them all into a West African rhythmic template. In what follows, we shall now examine these elements from 10 selected compositions spanning the four artistic periods of the music. These include Ojà Òyìngbò (1964) Olólùfé mi (1967), Abiara (1969), Jeun K¶ôkú (1970), Gbagádá gbogòdò (1971), Unknown Soldier (1979), Why Black man dey suffer (1986) Beast of No Nation (1989) Just like that (1990) and Confusion Break Bone (1990) 1. Ojà Òyìngbò is rooted in highlife conventions. The features include the use of repetitive melody based on western tonal system of the tonic, subdominant, and dominant chord structure. The complex improvisation of the horns solo and the band¶s blaring horns section are characteristics of jazz music. Built on the pentatonic scale, the lyrics of the song contain Yorùbá proverbs and idiomatic expressions based on a call and response pattern. In all, we have highlife, jazz and folksongs incorporated in this song as excerpted below: Text in Yoruba Interpretation Gbogbo oun tí e se fún wa All that you have done for us àwon t¶ó nfé wa ó dùn mó won is appreciated by our fans Àwa ò bínú enìkan We are not angry with anyone bóyá ènìyán nbínú wa àwa ò mò dont know if anyone is angry with us ojà òyìngbò kò mò p¶énìkan ò wá o Oyingbo market is always full b¶ókò kan ò re ejìrìn If a truck refuses to go on a journey egbegbèrún rè á lo A thousand or more will sùgbón t¶a bá sé wón o If we have offended you elders

àgbàgbà wón á f¶orí jì wá o awo Do forgive us The First Artistic Period 1964-1969 The Second Artistic Period 1970-1976 The Third Artistic Period 1977-1989 The fourth Artistic Period 1990-1997 2. Olólùfé mi Three genres are identified in this composition- blues, highlife and jazz. The structural pattern of the song is a basic twelve-bar lyric framework with highlife flavour. There is also a strong use of harmony from jazz idiom through the arrangement of the horns and the improvisation from the trumpet and saxophone. Furthermore, the Yoruba vocal style was employed in the vocal delivery. The song is transcribed below:

Voice O lo - - lu - fe mi, ti e ni mo fe O lo - - lu - fe mi, ti e ni mo
3333

5

fe A la - - yan - fe mi

mi o se ti won mo O lo - - lu - fe
3 3 3

8

mi ti e ni mo fe wa f'e - nu ko mi l'e - nu wa f'a - ra ro mi l'a - ra o
3

Text in Yoruba Translation Olólùfé mi My sweet darling Tì e ni mo fé. It is you I want Aláyànfé mi My chosen one mi ò se ti won mó I do not belong to them anymore Olólùfé mi My sweet darling Tì e ni mo fé. It is you I want Wá fenu kò mí lénu Come and kiss me Wá fara kò mí lára Come to my sweet embrace 3. Abiara The song conforms with the stylistic structure of highlife in the 60¶s with an instrumental introduction, elaborate interlude and an abrupt ending. The horn arrangement in Abiara is purely in salsa style with highly syncopated percussive rhythm. The bass line has elements of syncopated soul bass patterns. The tune used in the bridge segment of Abiara (wansaraleya)

was a salsa piece adapted from the tune Guantanamera3 as seen in line seven of the lyrics below: Text in Yoruba Translation Abíára. Èrù re mà nbà mí o Abiara. I am afraid of you Má mà fé mi láya do not take my wife Má mà fé mi lálè Do not take my mistress Èmi ò ní gbà sé o I will not take it from you l¶area yí o in this area Abíára Abiara Wansaraleya! Abiara Wansaraleya Wansaraleya! Abiara Wansaraleya The interlude section as infused with jazz improvisation which culminated with a blues derived dominant seventh bar shout chorus. In all, there is a fussion of soul, jazz, blues and highlife integrated with Yoruba vocal style. The three songs were composed at the early stage of Afrobeat (1964-1969).The stylistic characteristics of Fela¶s song during this period of developments included the fussion of highlife medium with jazz, blues, Afro-Latin forms, and African traditional music. 4. Jeun K¶ôkú Jeun K¶ôkú was Felá¶s first attempt at composing Afrobeat with injection of funk elements. Veal (2004) observed that Afrobeat has a distinct similarity to James Brown¶s brand of funk, with its staccato, syncopated bass lines and scratchy sounding rhythm guitar. Examples are screams and grunts present in the vocal section and the introductory horn theme. The percussion section of Jeun K¶ôkú was based on a steady 4 beat bar with highlife beats. Furthermore, jazz was featured consistently in the interlude sections featuring the saxophone and the organ. The African element was manifest in the vocal arrangement of call and response format in the vocal section illustrated below: Text in Yoruba Translation Call: Onígbèsè Debtor! Response: E bá mi le lo Help me to chase him away! Call: Olè Thief! Response: E bá mi le lo Chase him away! Call: Jàgùdà Scoundrel! Response: E bá mi le lo Chase him away! The overall elements identified in the song are funk, jazz, highlife, and African traditional music. Jeun K¶ôkú is transcribed below: \ Text in Yoruba Translation Chop and quench ó dé Behold, the glutton Waki and die ó dé Behold, the glutton Mo gbé obè sílè ó la tán o I provided soup he ate it all up Mo gbé isu sílè ó je tán o I provided yam, he ate it all up Mo gbé eran sílè ó je tán o I provided meat and he ate it all up ei e ba mi le lo o Please, help me send him away Olè! E bá mi le lo o Thief! Help me send him away E bá mi le kúrò ní¶lé mi o e Send him away from my house 5. Gbagádá gbogòdò The song has at the introduction, a massive injection of funk idiom in the horn section, a jazz improvisation, a persuasive highlife idiom and Yoruba folk song. Felá derived the folksong from Nigerian folk tradition drawn from Egbá culture. Major characteristics of this folksong

include its relative simplicity, usually in a call and response form and the use of the pentatonic scale.

Bi e ba ngbo gba ga da gba ga da bi e ba ngbo gbo go dogbo go do E ma ya so tun
4

e ma ya so si I le o lo wo lo ro n gba

lo bi so ju u re

o gun a du

ja o gun a du bi
7

le lo po lo po I wo ni kan lo da pa so ja me fa o ro o wo mo ko pa da se hin ko pa da se
10

hin ko

wafe webo

ra nke lo bi e wu re baba a re nke lo bi a pa ro

I ya a re

I wo na nbe lo bi I ga la o mi I re ke
14

le mu

nse be lemunse be n ro mo o ya o e ni o mo letun nfi

wun o ya ka lo

o
The funk idiom is evident in the easy rhythmic flow of the percussion section, the chopping, shuttering guitars, and the blaring syncopated horns. The horn section in the music is juxtaposed with the solo instrument in a call and response format, characteristic of all AfricanAmerican derived genres. One can find some phrases traceable to James Brown in this music which includes the screams and the grunts. The rhythm guitar, inspired by jazz, played a prominent role in this song. The final section of the song featured the lead voice imitating the bass guitar, a typical blues style. In all, we have funk, jazz, highlife, blues and folksongs incorporated into the music. Song 4 (Jeun ko ku) and 5 (Gbagada gbogòdò) were written in the early seventies with a later injection of funk to the already existing fussion. He placed much emphasis on percolating rhythm, percussive horn riffs, and declamatory vocals giving the song a starker, more aggressive and rough-hewn tone. 6. Unknown Soldier This song remains one of Fela¶s soulful tunes till date. The characteristic element of soul music is the strong emotional quality of the vocals, set to a subdued mid-tempo rhythmic pattern. The song featured Felá singing in a soul-influenced style where he took up a lamentation on account of the attack on his house and the death of his mother: «Dem throw my mama 78 year old mama Politically mama Ideological mama Influential looking mama Dem throw my mama out of from window

Dem kill my mama (7x) «That my mama wey you kill She fought for universal adult suffrage That my mama wey you kill She is the only mother of Nigeria «Which kind injustice is this? Wetin concern government inside If not Unknown Soldier Other elements which made up the music include nonsensical syllables and nuances of pitch (funk), modal scale (jazz) and the arrangement of the horns section in funk style. The song also has blues elements of vocal imitation of drum rhythms (blues) and African-derived rhythmic pattern. 7. Why Black Man Dey Suffer This song had elements of folk tradition, jazz, soul and funk. The song started with the drum rhythm of the orò cult. In the introduction, Felá acknowledged the rhythm when he said: ³This music is called Koginikókó used in some particular kind of shrines in my home town Abéòkuta City´. After this, he vocalized the rhythm of the chant in a call and response as illustrated below: Felá : Koginikókó Koginijèjè Chorus: Koginikókó Koginijèjè Felá : Koginikókó Koginijèjè Chorus: Koginikókó Koginijèjè The fussion of soul is evident in the lyrics which celebrate pride of the African heritage and the need to resist any form of slavery from the western imperialists. Jazz improvisation is evident in the organ and the saxophone, and the arrangement of the horns section in funk style. A major innovation to the vocal lines of song 6 (Unknown Soldier) and 7 (Why Black Man Dey Suffer) was in the length. Unknown Soldier is 45 minutes in length whiles ³Why Black Man Dey Suffer´ was 37 minutes. This characterised the music in the third artistic period. Furthermore, there was the introduction of extended passages to chorus singing and the integration of choral lines into the horn arrangements in both songs. 8. Beast of No Nation This song contains funk elements present in the rhythm guitar and jazz element in the organ and horns improvisations. The African traditional musical elements consist of idiomatic expressions used in every day language of the common man on the streets. This is presented in a call and response format excerpted below: Call:Ò¶fèsé-lû Response:àyàkàtà Call :Ò¶fèsé - g¶bôn Response:àyàkàtà Call :Ò¶fèsé ±wôn Response:àyàkàtà Call :Ò¶fèsé -gbên The elements of soul music in this song include the use of the moan and melissma exemplified in the excerpt below:

Bas - ket mouth want start

to lick a - gain o

Another distinct element in Beast of No Nation is the use of an Urhobo word in the song. This fussion, according to Fágbohùn (1994) is a linguistic concept called code mixing. In this context, we have the mixture of Yorùbá, English, Pidgin English and Urhobo language: Beast of No Nation Egbékégbé Beast of No Nation Oturugbeke Egbékégbé is a Yoruba language while Oturugbeke is an Urhobo language used as exclamation. 9. Just Like That ³Just Like That´ was written at the final artistic period that could be the matured manifests of Afrobeat. The music presents elements of funk in the horns section, blues by the vocal imitations of the bass lines at the middle section, and African folk music by the use of drum bass rhythm in the call and response format. Ecstatic shouts and loud cheers by Felá and his singers are evidence of African traditional music. The song is excerpted below: Call: Àkúbà Response: Òrányàn! Like soul music, the treatment of stanza three of the lyrics in this song is based on the concept of the pride of the African heritage. Attesting to this fact, Donald (1995) remarked: «soul is the projection in song of a new feeling of black dignity, self respect, and militancy (p.230) The excerpt below admonishes Africans to look inwards for development instead of depending on Europe and America: We in Africa we must to think our own In our tradition where human beings and nature grow Where creativity and understanding must to be Right now, think now fight now on how suffer must to stop 10. Confusion Break Bone There is the massive use of the African traditional elements in this music. This is in consonance with the description of Nweke (1997) who remarked that: Afrobeat has a relative reliance on the fussion of Yoruba traditional music, the bass guitar with the drums playing a driving role; liberating musical innovations; Call and response element, which is an integral ingredient in African music (p.81) The music starts with the arrangement of the horns section in a typical highlife and jazz style. At various intervals, Felá improvises on the organ with folkloric tunes while the horn section interjects at cadential points. The chorus section is patterned after African chorus traditions: Deadi bodi geti accidenti. Yee pa! Confusion breaki boni. Yepa! Na double wahala for deadi bodi And the owner of deadi bodi Double wahala for deadi bodi«. Fragments of African melodies are used in the instrument section as improvisations in a jazz format. Felá also made use of several musical fragments from Egbá chants. The

characteristic trait of the composition is the use of rhythms that bears the semblance of religious possession dances. The song is introduced by intricate rhythms from the drums followed by the instruments with the horns in a funk style. At the middle of the song, there is an interlude with Felá playing the African drums with a higher intensity and ecstatic shouts from back up singers at the background: Pàmpàlà. b¶ô lo o yà Lárúdú repeke repeke Lárú Lárúdú repeke Larudu repeke, repeke Lárú Owó µlé la ó lò a ò ma yá µwó fi se o Lárúdú repeke repeke Lárú A striking feature of the instrumental section in this song is the incorporation of the Atumpan in percussion ensemble. The Atumpan is a set of two drums from the Akan region of Ghana. The first which is high pitched is the female while the second is low pitched is the male, and has a jingling metal called the akasaa fixed on it. It tingles anytime the drum is struck. The Atumpan drum plays elaborate rhythmic patterns superimposed on other instruments. Furthermore, it is used to heighten the performance during vocal interlude. The analysed songs reveal Fela¶s creative ingenuity in fussing several genres of music to make up Afrobeat. Although jazz, soul, funk etc are foreign; they are derived from African music. In connection with this assertion, Thompson (1983) concluded that much of the popular music of the world grew from the spirit of certain people specially armed with improvisatory drive and brilliance, referring to, the people of African origin. Confirming this in an interview with Watrous (1989), Felá remarked: I played a lot of jazz in the beginning of my career because it had a lot of cultural information that enriched my mind«I found a heavy relationship between that music and my culture«I used this knowledge to penetrate into the culture of my people (p. 23) Elements such as improvisation, the use of modal scales, cyclic patterns and rhythmic stratifications, which feature regularly in Felá¶s music, are African elements. The musical resources borrowed from the foreign field have been adapted, reformulated and reconfigured to harmonize with African music practice. Future of Afrobeat Afrobeat has assumed a new dimension since the passage of Felá Aníkúlápò Kútì. In the first place, the music has become an established genre all over the world. Felá¶s two sons; Fémi and Seun are continuing in their father¶s tradition of playing every week in the New African shrine and staging concerts around the world thus promoting Afrobeat at home and abroad. Femi is also training his first son, Madé, in the field, thus ensuring continuity of the music to the next generation. Secondly, variants of Afrobeat are evolving with upcoming musicians giving modern interpretations to Fela¶s Afrobeat music. Prominent among these are the hip-hop4, the yahoozee5, the gospel6, the galala7, and the makosa8 variants of Afrobeat. Others like Lágbájá9, Sèyí Sholágbadé, and Bantu10are still keeping with the Afrobeat traditions with massive fussion of rock elements into their music. The technological advancement in music has been utilized by Afrobeat artistes to their advantage. Even though Felá did not make use of studio effects in his Felá Aníkúlápò Kútì

Femi Kútì Seun Kútì
Made Kútì

recordings, the present Afrobeat musicians are utilizing the advanced technology in studio technique to create equally entertaining music. Afrobeat musicians from abroad like the Antibalas make use of massive studio effects thus giving it a mass appeal among the youths and downplaying the big band tradition of Felá. To further buttress this point, Olorúnyomí (2006) in an oral interview, states: I foresee the reduction of the big band tradition. With the reduction of the big band tradition, chances are that the structure and style of the music is also going to be affected. We may not necessarily have the Felá theme in terms of the structure and the time sequence but the overall texture will be retained. This is already happening among the new Afrobeat musicians, especially outside of Nigeria. This is because it is difficult to sustain a band of Fela¶s size in Europe. The reduction of the big band tradition is made possible with the advent of digital technology and studio effects in music production. A fraternity of common grounds now exists between Afrobeat artistes and other popular musicians. The cold war and battle for relevance that pervaded the music scene during Fela¶s time seem to be abating as Nigerian popular musicians now share a common platform to perform their songs irrespective of the typology or differences in message. This is made possible through the yearly Afrobeat remembrance concert /festival both in Nigeria and EuroAmerica. The concert in Europe is tagged ³Republicafrobeat´. Established in August 2002, the programme was initiated by a small group of Afrobeat fans in Madrid. In Nigeria, the commemoration concert was tagged ³Felabration´. With the benefit of hindsight, there will be much development in Afrobeat music in the near future. Since we have exponents springing up from all over the world, there is no doubt that the fusion of the music will include materials from other countries where the genre is being performed. The lyrical content of Afrobeat will receive a deviation from the massive political messages typical of Felá¶s Afrobeat. At present, there is the down-playing of political songs in favour of love songs. An example is the Antibalas Afrobeat group in New York. They started with oppositional music but met with brick walls with their listening audience who wanted music for relaxation instead of war. By the time the second album came out, they were more on love themes with danceable tunes. Fémi Kútì also attested to the fact that he was not going to waste his time using his music to fight a ³deaf and dumb regime´. He would rather concentrate his energy on developing his music rather than politics. However, a number of Fémi¶s works are dedicated to political and social issues. Conclusion This paper has attempted a stylistic analysis of Fela¶s Afrobeat.From the analysis, it is evident that Afrobeat genre was derived primarily from the fussion of such genres as jazz, soul blues, funk, and Afro Latin music (which were African derived) with African musical traditions. Felá had acquired knowledge of and skill in the performance of these idioms during his early years at home in Nigeria and in Europe. It is therefore the position of this paper that further research on Fela¶s works and other musical derivatives which enriched Afrobeat are necessary to generate documentation expedient for a holistic understanding of the music maestro and his impact on the music world. End Notes 1. Olíkóyè was studying medicine in England during this period 2. Fela¶s acronym for insult. 3. The song Guantanamera is a Cuban song composed in 1929 by Jose Fernandez Diaz. 4. Form of popular culture that started in African American inner-city areas, characterized by

rap music, graffiti art, and break dancing. 5. An eccentric musical style that evolved among hip hop musicians in Nigeria in the 21st century. 6. Highly emotional evangelical vocal music that originated among African American Christians in the southern United States and was a strong influence in the development of soul music. 7. A popular dance form in Lagos Nigeria 8. A popular dance style in East Africa 9. Tagged his own style Afro-calypso 10. Bantu resides in Germany, interpreting Afrobeat in hip-hop style. REFERENCES Akpabot, S.1986. Foundation of Nigerian Traditional Music. Ibadan: Spectrum Books Ltd. __________1998. Form, Function And Style in African Music. Ibadan: Macmillan Press Adedeji, O. 2004 Nigerian Gospel Music- A study of its Styles.Unpublished Ph.D Thesis. Institute of African Studies. University of Ibadan.xv+420 Ayu, I. 1986. Situating Fela In Protest. National Concord. August 11. Allsopp, R. 1995 "African Systems in Caribbean Communication" in Niara Sudarkasa, et al. (eds.), Exploring the African American Experience. Lincoln University, PA: Lincoln University Press.pp. 91-102. Collins, E.J.1972. ³Highlife: A study in syncretic Neofolk music´ (Unpublished paper) p.8, 26. Collins, J .2000. Musicmakers of West Africa. Washington, D.C.: Three continent Press Donald, C. 1995. The Rise and Fall of Popular Music. St. Martin's Press: New York. Collins, W. 2002. James Brown St. James Encyclopaedia of Popular Culture. Coker, N. 2004. A study of the Music and Social Criticism Of African Musician, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti. New York: Edwin Mellen Press. Carter, R.A. 2002. Stylistics The linguistics encyclopedia. K. Malmkar.Ed 2nd edition. London: Routledge. Coester, M.1998. Language as a product of Cultural Contact; A linguistic Approach to Fela Kuti¶s Lyrics. London: Oxford University Press. Crystal, D & Davy, D.1969. Investigating English Style. London: Longman Darnton, J. Afrobeat, New Music with a New Message. New York Times: July 7, 1976 Donald, C. 1995. The Rise and Fall of Popular Music. St. Martin's Press: New York. Enkvist, N.E. 1972. On the place of style in linguistic. Seymour, C (ed) Literary Style:A Symposium. London: Oxford University Press Ltd. Essays on Music and History in Africa ed. K. Wachsmann, 171-84 Euba, A. 1971. Islamic Musical Culture among the Yoruba: A Preliminary Survey. In ³DANCE µPANAFEST¶´ conference, University of Ghana, PP. 1 Dicton art of Music and Musicians, Vol 13, PP. 235 ± 243 Ekpa, A 2001 .Ekpe Music and Dance of the Efik. Thesis. Institute of African Studies. University of Ibadan.xiv+300 Fagbohun, G.1994. The Yoruba Koine: its History and Linguistic Innovations; Linguistic Edition No. 6, LINCOM EUROPA, Munchen

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