By Chux Odoh
On Saturday, September 22, Nigerian Afrobeat living legend, Femi Anikulakpo Kuti thrilled guests who gathered at the poolside of Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja who came for the Album listening of his 10th Studio Album, ‘One People, World’, which was put together by Chocolate City Music, Sheraton Hotel.
Femi, supported by Chocolate City’s Ruby Gyang, former ‘The Voice Nigeria’ winner Nonso Bassey, and fast-rising 26 years old trumpeter and composer, Etuk Ubong gave the audience a night they’d always remember with what can only be described as a flawless night of live music exhibition.
The event had guests from different tribes and races spellbound with the beauty of rich Nigerian music. Some actually flew into the country specifically for the event. On-Air Personality, Folu Storms was the host for the night and at exactly 8: 40 pm, she welcomed the opening performer, Ubong, on stage.
The trumpeter who once played for Femi Kuti’s Positive Force Band from 2012 to 2014 opened his set with the record, ‘Mass Corruption’. With audacity and boldness, he called out past and present Nigerian governments, mentioning most of Nigeria’s elites by their names while describing them as corrupt.
Next up was Nonso Bassey who upped the tempo with his performance as he showed great vocal strength while on stage.
The final opening act, Ruby Gyang who performed her 2014 tune ‘Good Man’ showed great character on stage as she delivered a very energetic performance.
Then the moment everyone was waiting for as the legend himself mounted the stage at about 9:30 pm, beginning his set with his 20years old classic song ‘Truth don die.’
He paused after that for a brief chat session with the host Folu Storms. Femi answered questions bothering on his life as a family man, his love for his kids, and his career which has spanned over 4 decades.
He also spoke about his new album and his musical influences and how he has not listened to music since 2000. He said: ‘‘I have not listened to music since 2000, of course when you go to the mall or visit places, you hear music here and there, but I never go out of my way to listen to music.”
In the beginning, it was my father who got me listening to music but I read a Miles Davis book, where he said, I wanted to be original, so I stopped listening to music, so I took to that and stopped allowing influences,” the legend continued.
Speaking on how he manages his positive mindset, Femi talked about balancing life: ”We have to remain optimistic, there has to be balanced in this life. he said.
Femi also introduced his son, Made, who recently became an official member of his band, as recalled the news of his former bassist absconding, jokingly saying, ‘I know this one will not abscond’.
He then answered the question on what he hopes the album will inspire in people, ”I think it will inspire people, the title of the album says it, we do have to understand that we are one people… see, the day I die, I want to die with a smile, I am 56 now, I am not afraid, because I know it will eventually come,” he said.
From then on, it was an intimate night of pure afrobeat music all the way as the icon took the audience through a 1hour, 30 minutes set of the explosive sounds and energetic live performance.
Femi sent the audience wild as he performed classic songs like Bang Bang, Sorry Sorry and many of his greatest hits before delving into the album proper, closing the show with a worthy remake of his father’s 1975 classic, ‘Water No Get Enemy’.