Art & CultureArt & Film

The legacy of Nigerian music star Orlando Julius must not be overlooked

Image Source

If there is one musician as commonly associated as Fela Anikulapo-Kuti with the West African musical movements Afrobeat and Afrobeats (never mind Afro-Blues and Afro-Soul), this is the preserve of Orlando Julius Ekemode. Given Fela’s immense stature it would seem impossible to speak of another musician from whom he gained musical direction. Yet, one must, in the case of his fellow multi-instrumentalist Orlando Julius.

Together they are a large part of the force behind highlife (the West African music originating in Ghana in the 1800s that fuses traditional sounds with jazz) and Afrobeat (a sound that further varied things, starting in the early 1970s, with a blend of jazz, funk, psychedelic rock and traditional West African chant and rhythms). Fela and Julius pioneered Afrobeat after practising highlife.

It is true that Fela drew inspiration from a variety of musical heavyweights across the globe. But in terms of tangible impact, fellow Nigerian Julius is the name to beat. Of Fela, Julius once offered: “Fela came to my club every week and when he formed his own band in 1964, I gave him four members of my group to get him started.”

Continue Reading… 

*The views of the above article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Africa Speaks 4 Africa or its editorial team.

Leave a Reply