Made Kuti, first son of Afrobeat legend, Femi Kuti and grandson of Music Icon, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, has, for the first time opened up on his growing up, his career as a budding musician and his thoughts on the government.
In a tell-all interview conducted by NET’s Editor Joan Omionawele, Made Kuti who just graduated from London’s Trinity Laban Conservatoire Of Music and Dance, (the same school his grandfather, Fela Kuti attended)says he is back to contribute his own quota to the growth of the Nigerian music Industry.
The 24-year old multi-instrumentalist also speaks about upholding his family’s historical legacy, schooling at an institution where his grandfather reigned supreme and the reason his father protected him from the public while growing up.
“Growing up with every Kuti Child was an experience. But as Femi Kuti’s son, growing up was different. I grew up in the Shrine. I grew up with the mentality that forced me to challenge a lot of normal concepts. The very first picture you see on the stage is Malcolm X’s picture. His story made me aware of black history and black consciousness; why do black people behave the way they do. You have so many talented musicians around you, and If you are with them and you don’t tap into that knowledge, you will fail,” he said.
Speaking on the reason it appeared that his father from the public as a child, Made thinks it mainly was about his being properly educated.
“I don’t think his issue was me being in the public domain. His issue was me getting a good education. He also gave me everything I wanted but asked me to wait until I was 18 to do a lot of things. I did not like high school because I felt a lot of things were a waste of time- I knew what I wanted. I wanted to study History and music in school, but they didn’t teach it, neither did they teach music. So I didn’t have access to a lot of things that I wanted. So my main goal was to leave and get into the university because I knew I was going to meet certain kinds of people that were going to change my perception of issues.”
Having acquired a strong perception of the Nigerian music industry, Made Kuti remains strong-willed and certain that the Music Industry is a booming self-made industry with visionaries operating in it.
“I think what we have is an industry that is self-made. We have no support from any department to build ourselves. There are no good schools to teach music the way they should. They don’t treat it as an important part of society. So what we have are people who have been deprived of formal education in music and are now doing the best that they can with whatever access that they have. It is a booming pop industry that is doing extremely well. As a matter of fact, the music Industry is rivaling every other pop industry around the world.”
“My issue is where the higher art is. I don’t see the development of the great saxophonists, I don’t see the future of composers or pianists, I don’t see anyone writing for an African Orchestra with 50 saxophones. We have the musicians, but if we don’t have that funding, it will take a miracle for everyone in that sector to say forget all of that, what we are going to do is make music for a progressive reason, not for Money or Fame. I am seeing a lot of materialist approach to music, but not one that is intellectual.”
Watch the full interview in the full video above.
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