ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a 160 -page large print, coffee-table format book with black and white photos by John Collins, and glossy colour ones by the professional photographers Thierry Secretan/Cosmos, Jack Mushin Kilby andÃ‚Â Rico DÃ¢â‚¬â„¢Rozario. A comprehensive discography is supplied by Ronnie Graham.
The book is based on the experiences of the British/Ghanaian musician and musicologist John Collins who met and workedÃ‚Â with Fela in Ghana and Nigeria on many occasions in the 1970Ã¢â‚¬â„¢s. It includes a diary that Collins kept in 1977Ã‚Â when he acted in FelaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s auto-biographical film the Black President.
It also includesÃ‚Â Ã‚Â interviews by Collins with Fela as well as some of the musicians who belonged to his bandsÃ‚Â andÃ‚Â FelaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s many friends and colleagues who were connected withÃ‚Â hisÃ‚Â AfrikaÃ‚Â Shrine and Kalakuta (Ã¢â‚¬ËœRascalsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢) Republic.
Fela, died inÃ‚Â 1997 aged fifty-eight, but did two remarkable and unique things in his life.Ã‚Â First of all, he was the main force behind Afro-beat, a major genre of African popular music which is adored by fans throughout Africa, has influenced numerous African musicians and is now going international.
Secondly, and with his unsurpassed militancy, he took African music into the arena of direct political action, a fighting spirit reflected in his own contrary life-style and his catalogue of anti-establishment songs dedicated to Pan-Africanism and the down-trodden Nigerian masses or Ã¢â‚¬ËœsufferheadsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢.
His songs he went much further than protest singers such as Bob Dylan, James Brown or Bob Marley.Ã‚Â Whereas their confrontations with established authority were couched in generalised terms of Ã¢â‚¬Ëœthe times they are a-changingÃ¢â‚¬â„¢, Ã¢â‚¬Ëœsay it loud IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m black and proudÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ and the evils of Ã¢â‚¬ËœBabylonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢.
FelaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s songsÃ‚Â not only protested against injustice, but often fiercely attacked specific agencies and members of the Nigerian government.Ã‚Â Ã¢â‚¬ËœCoffin for Head of StateÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ was directed against NigeriaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s then Army ruler (now retired civilian President), General Obasanjo. Ã¢â‚¬ËœInternational Thief ThiefÃ‚Â (ITT)Ã¢â‚¬â„¢ criticised the American multi-national company, International Telephones and Tele-Communications, ran in Nigeria by the late politician Chief Moshood Abiola.
Ã¢â‚¬ËœAlagbon CloseÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ mocked the police CID headquarters in Lagos where Fela was imprisoned in 1974,Ã‚Â whilst Ã¢â‚¬ËœZombieÃ¢â‚¬â„¢, caricatured the Nigerian Army mentality. When the dust has settled over FelaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s fiery, creative, promiscuous and rascally life-style, his Afrobeat groove will live on.
Eros on the break
Each day seems to break with at least one person realising his potential and music appears to be a very common gifting these days. One of such kids on the music block is Chukwuka Chukwuemelie aka Eros.
Placing third in a family of nine siblings, Eros is born to a medical doctor dad and an educationist mum. He hails from Enugu state and brandishes an Accounting degree from Madonna university.
He started writing songs eight years ago and as soon as his lyrics tightened, he dropped his debut album titled Preamble last year. It boasts of tracks like Groove, Shake and On My Own among others. His self produced premiere also enjoyed production input from producer/singer J-Martins and Serghio.
With a role model like American pop star Nelly, one need be on the look out for ErosÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ break.
Lagbaja goes bling bling
Just before you think the masked one has ditched his masked identity for blings or that heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s added blings to his costume or range of accessories, this isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t so.
Afrocalypso singer and saxophonist Bisade Ologunde aka Lagbaja has broken his three year musical silence and released to the air waves two singles. Titled Bling bling and Sobolation, the singer appears back in contention for the title of most relevant singer in the Nigerian music industry.
The 39-year old singer, had gone into hiatus since his last album release which signed out Ego Iheanacho as his lead vocalist. Singer Ego started on a solo career path after a record-breaking vocal rendition of the LagbajaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s popular hit song- Ã¢â‚¬ËœNever far awayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢.
While many perceived Ego as the wing beneath his wings, the multi-talented saxophonist may be out to prove critics and pundits wrong. Welcome aboard once again, Lagbaja.