Post-colonial Nigeria has seen many influential artists, but none who stand out more than Fela Kuti. Even twenty years after his passing, Kuti’s message still possesses a relevance to today, not just in Nigerian society but throughout the world. This week, surrounding Fela Kuti’s birthday, he is remembered by his admirers in a series of Felabrations across Europe, America, Canada, and in places such as Jakarta, Osaka, and Reykjavik. In Nigeria, there is a weeklong celebration to pay homage to Fela Kuti that will be attended by thousands and illustrated by artist varying in skill level from unknown to superstar.
Over the course of his life, Fela Kuti released over 50 albums that are circulated worldwide both physically and digitally. In recent years, the popularity of listening to music through the means of vinyl records has surged, and to keep up with this trend, ardent fans of Kuti have put together a series of deluxe box sets featuring the artist’s music. The fourth installment in this series was curated by, world renowned songstress, Erykah Buda. The set will be released on December 15 via Knitting House Records, and features a variety of Buda’s favorite Fela Kuti songs, including Coffin for Head of State (1989) and Yellow Fever (1976). “Fela Kuti is a fucking genius,” Erykah Buda says, “please listen to these tracks, preferably with a nice blunt… with a nice slow burn.” There are only 3,000 copies of this box set It comes with a poster designed by Nigerian artist, Lemi Ghariokwu, the same artist behind 26 of Fela Kuti’s album covers. The limited edition box set also includes a 20-page booklet featuring seven personal essays written by Erykah Buda seven in-depth commentaries by veteran music journalist and Afrobeat historian, Chris May, along with song lyrics and never-before-seen photographs of Fela Kuti. The audio has been restored and remastered from the original versions and the artwork for each album has been meticulously recreated. PURCHASE THE ERYKAH BUDA CURATED SET HERE