'Fela Was Happy When I Started Smoking'

Femi Kuti speaks on how Fela affected his life, his Grammy nominations, and how he got the name Shoki

In the latest episode of The Truth With Olisa Adibua, Afrobeat legend Femi Kuti speaks on a range topics from how he got the name 'Shoki' to how he has confronted the Nigerian government with his music.

During the interview, Femi Kuti says he knew he was going to be a musician from the age of 5, even though he was interested in sports. Despite his early interest in music, he revealed that Fela insisted that he learnt music naturally instead of learning it professionally like him. Fela's insistence caused a few arguments within the family. According to Femi, family members thought it would be better if he read music abroad. "He really liked street life" says Femi. When Femi Kuti became successful with his Wonder, Wonder album Fela was vindicated in his approach.

Femi goes on to say that Fela experimented too much with his life. "The day he knew I started smoking, he was the happiest man in the world" reveals the multiple Grammy nominated musician. "The more radical, rascal I was, the happier he was" he further says.

Femi Kuti says his own approach with his son Made Kuti is different. The grandson of Fela is currently in one of the biggest music universities in England, and is also music tutor. Femi believes that his son's love for classical music will lead him to create a new and progressive style of Afrobeat.

When asked how he came up with the name 'Shoki' which also happens to be the hottest dance now, the gentle musician said the moniker comes from a song of his 1994 album Wonder, Wonder. The song which is called 'Shoki' is centered on sex education.

The musician also spoke about his experience with the Grammys, licensing Fela's back catalogue to Universal Music, and his style of confronting today's government.

This is the first part of Femi Kuti's feature on The Truth. The second part will be out soon.

You can watch the video below;

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