Seun Kuti Talks Brian Eno's Assist on 'Rise,' Shares New Music Video
With clichés like that at the ready, Seun Kuti has proven he's been around the block with journalists, publicists and labels. Last week saw the release of his second album From Africa with Fury: Rise, and believe him, there isn't a dull moment.
You wouldn't expect that from one of the most dynamic performers working today. Under Kuti's gruff command, his father Fela's Egypt 80 band sound turbocharged compared to the patriarch's latter days. But there was room to further adjust the blazing Afrobeat of Seun's first album Many Things into something more potent.
That was producer Brian Eno's prescription when he finally convinced Seun to let him produce his work. As Seun explains, "He showed me ways to open up the music. He gave me ideas about things we could do to turn the project from live music to a great live CD."
If you're expecting something in the vein of The Unforgettable Fire or Viva La Vida, you'd be wrong. This is more like Remain In Light at 45 RPM. Kuti explains that it's not like Eno changed the songs themselves (though he did contribute keyboards and vocals), but would strengthen passages of tracks like "Mr. Big Thief' by having the melody played in unison by Kuti's sax and guest Justin Adams's guitar.
Message-wise, Kuti is still a young firebrand with concise, guttural critiques of misused power. He feels confident, and justifiably so, that he's hitting a new level in his career thanks to his new album, a new label (Knitting Factory) and the momentum created by Fela! The Musical. North American recognition is on the agenda.
To help make that happen, Kuti has lined up a North American tour, which includes one Canadian date in Guelph, ON on July 24 at this year's Hillside Festival. You can see the complete schedule here.
Also, you can download the album track "Rise" here and watch the song's new music video below.
NewsSep 25, 2015
Omar Souleyman Opens Up About Syrian Crisis, Provides Aid to Refugees
Syria is currently in the grips of a civil war, and millions of the country's nationals have fled to find safety elsewhere. Now, famed Syria...
NewsSep 25, 2015
This Is Actually Happening: Pope Francis Is Releasing a Rock Album
In what is a truly unexpected announcement, Pope Francis — as in the actual Catholic Church-leading Pope — is releasing a rock a...
NewsSep 24, 2015
Steven A. Clark on Being 'The Lonely Roller'
North Carolina-born/Miami-based R&B artist Steven A. Clark signed with Secretly Canadian more than a year ago, and the fruits of that new re...
NewsSep 21, 2015
Buffy Sainte-Marie Wins 2015 Polaris Music Prize
Tonight (September 21) was one of the biggest nights of the Canadian music calendar, as the Polaris Music Prize crowned its 2015 victor. Thi...
NewsSep 16, 2015
Funk Figure Betty Davis to Be Explored in New Documentary
The life and career of funk artist Betty Davis is set to be explored in an upcoming documentary. Production has begun on Nasty Gal: The Many...
NewsSep 13, 2015
Sharon Jones' Cancer Has Returned
A couple of years back, soul singer Sharon Jones was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, but she beat the disease and returned with an album (...
NewsSep 11, 2015
Nina Simone Biopic to Finally Premiere This December
When we reported about the long-gestating Nina Simone biopic back in 2010, we wrote that it had already been plagued by years of "rumours an...
NewsSep 10, 2015
Kacy Hill Sets Release Date for G.O.O.D. Music Debut
Following the recent release of her "Foreign Fields" single, pop singer Kacy Hill has announced plans to issue her first EP for G.O.O.D. Mus...