Salient points [#2] – Fela Kuti on music, the weapon of the future

Listening to the late, great, Fela Kuti on music, politics, the state of the world and many a subject is like listening to his music: energising, empowering, uplifting…

Music is the weapon of the future. (Fela Kuti)


One day when I was still a kid, I heard something different coming out of the magic moving picture box (TV set). It was quite spell-binding music. Just as soon as it had captivated my attention, it had vanished.

Some years later I caught British musician/TV presenter Joolz Holland introducing a short segment on Fela Kuti and his music – it soon dawned on me that this was the mystical man with the magical music. The cascading brass and infectious rhythms kicked in, yet, again, the short sequence of a few minutes was over all too soon. It would be many years before Fela Kuti would be glimpsed on British TV again.

I managed to get hold of some cassette tapes of Fela’s music in the 1990s. Very rarely, there would be a random clip on TV of Fela performing. One song “Army Arrangement” stuck in my head, reverberating as so-called ear worm music does, and it cemented in my mind the view that Fela’s music was the most mystical mix of hypnotic rhythm and political messaging. I was hooked.

Spell-bound and zombie-like I gravitated towards the man’s music. In the decades since I’ve enjoyed listening to Fela Kuti and savoured him as, genuinely, one of few. Today I’m doubly glad: the age of the internet means easy access to an array of videos, concerts, writings – and secondly, I know that I am not alone in being spell bound by Fela Kuti. In the clip below, the highly feted musician and producer Brian Eno speaks with similar reverence about the man and his music…

EnoKuti  .

P.s. If you have the interest and a few minutes, check out the entrancing music, politically-charged lyrics, and frank attitude of “Army Arrangement”…


If you have more time, you too can fall further under Fela’s spell by searching the web for music and full concerts like this 1978 footage from Berlin…

Fela Kuti on music, on stage, on fire…



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