With his first single “Free Your Mind” and the accompanying video, Made Kuti is doing much more than making a name for himself.
A grandson from the Kuti family… At the age of 25, Made Kuti has all the talent of his grandfather: a multi-instrumentalist (bass, saxophone, piano, drums and trumpet), tours around the world in his father Femi Kuti’s band, prestigious studies at Trinity College London and of course, a legendary lineage in the history of music, being the grandson of the pioneer of afrobeat, the monumental Fela Kuti. On this day of Felabration, it is a beautiful tribute that he pays to his ancestor.
Made Kuti reappropriates the afrobeat that his grandfather created and that his father, Femi Kuti, perpetuated, forcing it to confront the music of the 21st century, particularly by engaging the exciting new English jazz scene, with which he has a special affinity. His first track “Free Your Mind” is a perfect illustration of this, with a bewitching groove and lyrics that invite an increasingly hypnotic rhythm as the song progresses.
“For me, freeing your mind, in a way, is exactly the opposite of what we usually hear” explains Made. “Free your Mind” is almost an invitation to decadence, to not respond to any constraint, to take things as they are … I think that this expression actually means that you have to keep a critical mind, use your mind to the maximum of your abilities to think, try to find answers, ask the right questions.”
In addition to his musical abilities duly influenced by a childhood spent within the walls of the mythical New Afrika Shrine founded by her grandfather, Made Kuti keeps a well-informed mind and uses his ability to conceive the world differently through music. Made also recently spoke out in strong support of the anti-police brutality protests currently happening across Nigeria, which have subsequently led to the government dissolving SARS (Special Anti-Robbery Squad), a notorious section of the country’s police unit. Made even took to the streets himself earlier this week, alongside his father.