"Nigeria has produced many great singers who promoted the culture of the band, among them were Mikel Okri, Feladay and Chris Okotie who is now a Pastor. He (Chris Okotie) was doing it live at that time but what he did at that time was not right. He had all the opportunity to help the young generation because he was the shining light but he killed the essence of it by his Flamboyance to the excess and his not wanting to listen to those who were tele-guiding his growth. Let these young ones not fall prey to that, is what we are saying"
Chris Okotie's Music Career Died Because He Lived Too Large – Fela's Protege
Fela Anikulapo Kuti's protégé, Dede Mabiaku, in an exclusive interview with Encomium mag, has revealed the reason Pastor Chris Okotie's musical career nosedived many years back - excessive flamboyant lifestyle and his attitude of not listening to those who were guiding his career at that time.
Mabiaku also talked about the upcoming artists who are attempting to achieve Fela's glory through Afrobeats. When asked what he thinks of Burna boy and Oritse Femi who are trying to bring back the legacy of Fela through their songs, Dede said;
"Let me correct one impression. Fela played music live. Fela never used synthesized sound. Fela scored his music and his lyrics came along. Fela groomed his band with the sound he had scored. Ethically, he cultured a sound built within a band. After that, he now performed this song over a period of time before going to the studio to record. See the sequence. Now let us come to the present day artiste, what are they doing? They just go into the studio, make few sounds together, make hooks, roll it round and round and round within a certain amount of minutes and voice on it later.
"The work is supposedly packaged and you have a musical video that goes with it and you think that is what is similar to what Fela is doing? I am not saying what Fela did because Fela is continual. That is why people still listen to his songs so many years after his physical exit. He is the most regarded Nigerian musician ever. He is the most regarded African celebrated on Broadway. That is because he was doing it live.
These children need to go back to the basics. Go and learn instrument, go and culture band, culture yourself. What is happening now is destruction and disservice to the quality of work Nigeria music industry should have. Granted and agreed they have good voices, granted and agreed they have good packaging, please for God's sake lets not class these songs as Afrobeat. Afrobeat is the music that came for the people, it is a way of life. Do they follow the tenets of this way of life? No! However I am happy that after so many years, some of them are beginning to realize that the only thing that will make sense is natural African sound that comes with natural African elements.
That is why people who are really making it are Solidstar, Davido and Flavour. Burnaboy and Oritsefemi you talked about are also in this category. All they just need to do is to learn more about it and if they do this, it will take the Nigerian music and African music largely to the next level. I fought 2face tire over the matter. He listened to me in the end. Miming is not good for this industry, it kills it. Let's not glorify mediocrity.
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