Femi Kuti and the Positive Force will be performing live on Saturday April 30th at Metro. Tickets are on sale now for this special event.
His records tell the story: After a short spell at Motown, he took on the Afrobeat sound with his first international album in 1998 (Shoki Shoki), before rubbing shoulders with the modern urban style of his American peers such as Mos Def and Common on the album Fight To Win. Returning to Lagos he worked on rebuilding the new Shrine and released an unbelievable live project recorded in the heat of the moment in his own venue (Live at the Shrine, MK2 / 2004). Finally his first studio record only came about in 2008, having found inspiration in Paris. This unanimously celebrated release (Day By Day) was his most successful one.
What was there left for him to accomplish from now on? To complete the cycle, Femi felt he needed to go back to his roots, to the origins of this burning feeling inside him which had fired all his work, and going back to the studio where he had produced his first recordings with his father and his solo album Shoki Shoki. Decca Studio, soon to become Afrodisia Records in the ’70s, was the experimenting ground for most Nigerian masterpieces of the time, including those of Fela. There, he recorded his newest album, Africa For Africa, which will be released April 12.
More than just a simple musician, the 48-year old composer has become a true African Ambassador, in its most honorable sense. Indeed the album recording had to be arranged around his busy schedule. For example, Femi was in Johannesburg to sing for Africa the opening ceremony for the Football World Cup. There he sang one of his hits “Beng Beng Beng”, and took the opportunity to meet a few of the anti-Apartheid heroes. Shortly after, he was heading off to New York to see the famous and very successful Broadway musical about Fela, where he also got to appear on stage, invited by the actors at the end of the show. “It’s truly extraordinary, they really understood my father’s struggle and his mindset. This show has got to travel the world, and come down to the Shrine,” he says naturally.
As Femi travels the world, his Shrine venue still carries the torch week in week out, so much so it has become one of the only last dynamic temples for live African music. Erykah Badu, Damon Albarn, Hugh Masekala have recently made appearances, as have the Lagos Police, who regularly raid the place, picking up and frightening off the local crowd, as they try to close down this highly regarded resistance venue.
Come see the energy of Femi live in Chicago on Saturday April 30 at Metro. Tickets are $25. The show is 18 & over and starts at 9pm.
Saturday, April 30:
FEMI KUTI & THE POSITIVE FORCE
$25 / 18 & Over / Doors: 8PM / Show: 9PM
TICKETS AVAILABLE AT: Metro Box Office or at www.metrochicago.com