Femi Kuti performs live in The Current studios

Femi Kuti
Femi Kuti (Courtesy the artist)
  1. Listen Femi Kuti In-studio

    Jun 27, 2013

"Turn off your phones!" announces Afrobeat artist Femi Kuti after sound checking with his 11 piece band. This is right after he made rounds in The Current studios taking iPad photos of each individual Positive Force musician: 3 brass instrumentalists, 3 singers, 2 drummers, a pianist, bassist, and guitarist.

What does Kuti loves most about touring in America? The roads. Kuti, who recently turned 51, is on tour now in support of his album that dropped just this week, No Place for My Dream. He enjoys traveling across the country on the smooth, paved highways to play in different varieties of venues. On June 26 he and the Positive Force played The Cedar in Minneapolis, and June 28 they make a stop at Milwaukee's Summerfest. He's happy to play at the annual music festival--he loves that music has become an essential part of American culture.

Femi's has ties to other parts of American culture, too. In 2008, a Broadway musical based on his father Fela Kuti, an Afrobeat legend, began production. Fela! is based on the late Kuti's music and is performed by Brooklyn's Antibalas, a group heavily influenced by Afrobeat. When Mark Wheat asked his opinion of American bands that channel the sounds of Africa, the Nigerian-born Femi undoubtedly embraced it: "We need to appreciate and understand where Africa is coming from."

Songs performed: "Day By Day", "Africa for Africa", and "No Place".

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