Fela Kuti coined Afrobeat in Accra out of hate for James Brown – Prof John Collins

Fela Kuti coined Afrobeat in Accra out of hate for James Brown – Prof John Collins
Source: Ghana | Myjoyonline.com | Ernest Dela Aglanu (Twitter: @delaXdela / Instagram: citizendela)
Date: 22-10-2015 Time: 09:10:46:pm
Fela Kuti

Late Nigerian music legend, Fela Kuti invented the famous music genre name Afrobeat in Accra in 1968, Music Lecturer at the University of Ghana has said.

According to Prof John Collins, who made the disclosure during an interview on Personality Profile on Joy FM with Lexis Bill Thursday, the Nigerian legend was the pioneer of the genre.

Afrobeat, which is currently seen as the most popular form of music  in Ghana, Nigeria, some parts of Africa and the world, was born out of Fela’s dislike for late American music star James Brown.

“The word Afrobeat was invented in Accra by Fela, it wasn’t in Nigeria. He actually coined the name because he wanted to distinguish his name from soul,” he said.

The Music Lecturer at the University of Ghana explained that, Fela “had a love hate relationship with James Brown so he decided he’s got to distance his music from James Brown because it’s not James Brown’s music” even though they had some similarities.

Explaining how the name was coined, the music Prof said Fela happened to be listening to James Brown in a Ghanaian club but got annoyed and said "no I’m going to call my music something different’.”

Afrobeat is popular among musicians in Ghana and Nigerian musicians. The genre is a combination of traditional Ghana music, jazz, highlife, funk, and chanted vocals, fused with percussion and vocal styles.

Apart from Fela, who died on August 2, 1997, some of the well-known veteran Afrobeat musicians included Geraldo Pino, Femi Kuti, Tony Allen, Cymande, Osibisa, Yinka Davies, Manu Dibango, Dele Sosimi and Kola Ogunkoya.

The new generation of Afrobeat musicians include Sarkodie, Fuse ODG, Wizkid, Davido, R2Bees, Timaya among others.


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