Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Two global music legends and their legacys!

Two of the worlds greatest music superstars who are no longer with us look set to continue their dynasty for many years to come due to their talented musical children. The recent 30 year anniversary of Bob Marley’s death was heralded widely across the world in a manner befitting a man who is arguably the worlds most global music superstar. Bob Marleys music is universal and timeless and despite the fact the western world often cites Elvis Presley and the Beatles as the biggest stars, arguably only Michael Jackson has reached the masses of Asia and Africa as much as Bob. Fela Kuti is the certainly not as popular as Bob Marley on a global scale, but the Nigerian Multi-instrumentalist and political activist was also hugely influential, and like Bob, he has more than one son very active in music in 2011.

Fela Kuti’s children have not always enjoyed the same kind of harmony which the Marley children seem to manage and until recently there was a major standoff between half brothers Seun and Femi Kuti. One thing is for sure though, these two guys are carrying the afrobeat of their Dad kicking and screaming into the modern era and both have released significant music in recent years. As we celebrate Africa Day the world over this week it’s worth reflecting on this terrific music.

Femi has been around for longer and got a major push after the death of Fela in the late 90s in the first of several attempts to break him into the mainstream American music scene. Despite enlisting the likes Common, Mos Def and the Roots along the way, he has never quite crossed over in the way he or his record companies would want, but the music is rightly celebrated and critically acclaimed. Seun meanwhile is Fela’s youngest son and watching live in Cork a few years ago was almost exactly like watching his Dad! He not only looks like he plays like him too in his fathers legendary Egypt 80 band. If you ever get a chance to see any of the Kuti’s live take the chance and the same goes for Damian Marley and a few of his brothers. Bob and Fela have left behind some amazing music, and a bunch of children possessed by the same spirit and creativity!

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    I'm a DJ from Cork in Ireland. I work with RedFM, presenting Red Drive, The Hitlist and my specialist show, Black on Red. I'm probably best known for being one of the main hip-hop/soul DJ's in Cork and Ireland. I've been DJing in Cork since the early 90's in legendary clubnights such as Sweat in Sir Henrys, Mor Disco, Free La Funk, Yo Latino and also Jam and Jam Junior at the Savoy and the Pavilion. I've also held down long term residencies at clubs around Ireland such as Brown Sugar at the Kitchen in Dublin, U-Turn at Ri Ra in Dublin, Jazz Juice at the GPO in Galway, Thompson Garage in Belfast, the Soul Clinic, Dee-Bop, Meltdown and Mo Bounce in Limerick and i've played abroad in the United States and the U.K. on numerous occasions. I also write a music column for the Evening Echo and i'm a regular contributor to the U.K.'s Blues and Soul, the longest running black music magazine in the world. These days i run the Pavilion, a music venue in Cork, which hosts my Jam night every few Fridays http://www.pavilioncork.com also you can catch me at http://djstevieg.podomatic.com