Fela Kuti was born to famed Nigerian female activist Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, whose own protest activities undoubtedly inspired Fela as he grew and came into his own. The musical itself is set as Fela is giving his last concert in Nigeria, having given up on fighting corruption in his home country following the death of his mother at the hands of the government. Fela regularly turns to speak to a giant, sometimes animated portrait of Funmilayo posted above the stage in his struggle to decide what to do. Her spirit is its own character, stirring him to stay and fight on in Nigeria.
Fela embodied everything good about the arts. He forged his own path, learning from those before him. He emboldened and uplifted those around him. His legacy will continue to inspire generations. Fela is a part of countless films, musical movements, works of art, and even natural wonders that drive us to create. Fela Kuti can add my name to the list of millions that he has inspired with his Afrobeat creation and vivacious fight for justice and equality.
Follow your idols and musical influences and let them become an inspiration as you strive to discover your personal style. Even if your favorite artist has a completely different genre from you, you can still take pieces of their style and incorporate them into your own or chosen musical style.
Knowing your purpose takes everything into perspective and allows you to quickly find your musical style. Your journey as a musician plays a crucial role in defining your purpose; in turn, your purpose is a key ingredient in determining your musical style.
Imagine a class where every student feels it is a privilege to learn, yearns to participate and be heard, and absorbs all of the material with passionate curiosity. Within the nightmare of incarceration flourished the dream of education, an unabashed, provocative insight into musical meaning and expression.
At home, reading of their crimes, I would feel sickened. Walking through the prison to my class, I felt scared, even though a guard escorted me through the halls and showed me which handle to pull in case of emergency. Yet the moment I arrived in the classroom, these men transformed into my students. Despite their crimes, I grew to care for them as fellow human beings whom I hoped would grow and change. They were no longer nameless men in green with an identifying number but real, emotional, articulate individuals who taught me as much about music as I taught them. I sat next to them, separated only by a desk, while they told me about the music they loved and revealed their artistic aspirations. When Claire and I moved about the room, the men would make way and always ensure we had enough space. They did everything they possibly could to make us feel at ease. They understood how they were viewed in the eyes of society and cherished the feeling of normalcy and respect created within the classroom.I soon became accustomed to the hour of security checks that preceded each visit and the routine of waiting for the guards to lock one door before crossing the room to open another. As the semester unfolded, I was strangely no longer afraid, not even when walking through the prison yard as the men huddled in groups and stared at me. I was baffled and intrigued. Their whole world was gray concrete: not even a stray weed could grow through the cement. Just this small glimpse of prison life stood in stark contrast to the vibrant atmosphere engendered within the classroom. Instead of feeling fear, I felt inspired by the resilience and determination of my students to be the best that they could possibly be. I anticipated that the severe circumstances of prison would color all aspects of the classroom experience, but to my surprise, the room felt like a safe haven, a comfortable space where ideas could flow freely. It was the purest form of education I have ever experienced. Imagine a class where every student feels it is a privilege to learn, yearns to participate and be heard, and absorbs all of the material with passionate curiosity. Imagine a music class where every piece is fresh to the ear and observations are not bound to a preconceived notion of what makes classical art. Within the nightmare of incarceration flourished the dream of education, an unabashed, provocative insight into musical meaning and expression.
On this episode of the Visit Sacramento Podcast, in addition to his take on farming, Fantastic Negrito shares the inspiration behind his music and gives insight into what fans can expect to experience from his performance.
Even though his roots where in the church, the former Marine produced secular tracks for local musical acts, wrote songs and contributed vocals, too. Michael was a little rough around the edges when the pair first met. He drank sociably and hung out in clubs.
"This was definitely the song I listened to every single day on the drive to school from the age of 10-15," Shawn says. "I used to bug my mom playing this song in the car every single time. I know every lyric to this song. From day 1, Justin Timberlake has been a huge inspiration for me."
The most distinctive features of African-American musical traditions can be traced back in some form or other to Africa. Many of the expressive performance practices seen as synonymous with African American music, including blue notes and call-and-response, have their roots in techniques originally developed in western and central Africa before arriving to the United States via the Middle Passage. Over the centuries, African American musicians have drawn on the ancestral connection to Africa as a source of pride and inspiration. One of the most evocative illustrations of this connection from the NMAAHC collection is a wooden drum originally used in the Sea Islands off the coast of South Carolina, probably in the 19th century. As an American manifestation of an African musical tradition, the drum illustrates one of many ways that African culture persisted in the United States, even during the long night of slavery.
The banjo was one of the most important instruments in early African American music, and though seldom associated with African Americans in contemporary popular culture, it is a classic example of the way that African Americans blended African and European musical traditions together in the United States. The earliest banjos were likely based on West African lutes. Over the course of centuries, banjo makers gradually adapted their instruments to conform to European tuning systems, resulting in a truly American instrument that incorporated Western music theory even as its design recalled its African models.
The appearance and development of the mass media and entertainment industries in the early 20th century was perhaps the single most important factor in the worldwide popularity of African-American musical forms that developed after the Civil War. The objects connecting mass media technologies to African American life and culture stretch across nearly a century of history, encompassing a broad swath of American history and technological developments. Musical Crossroads presents items ranging from a phonograph owned by an early 20th century black family to the MIDI Production Center and Minimoog synthesizer used by trailblazing hip hop producer J Dilla.
Any story of the global impact and influence of African American music also needs to include explorations of the Afro-diasporic connections that continue to enrich the music of the Americas and the world. African American musicians throughout history have drawn inspiration from African-derived music in the Caribbean and Latin America, as well as the African continent itself.
Ben Shirken (aka Beshken) grew up in Los Angeles, where artists like Shlohmo, Teebs, Flying Lotus and iconic evenings like The Low End Theory created a musical foundation to which he was drawn. In LA, Shirken was part of the group Partytime, remixing Corbin (Spooky Black) and Ryan Hemsworth. The duo performed with artists like Suicideyear, Karman, Girlpool, and Groundislava at The Smell, Pehrspace, and other art spaces around the city.
This is not the soundtrack to the film, which comes out on Warner Bros. the same day, but a series of songs, chosen by Sony Music soundtrack division ruler Glen Brunman and Moore himself, that served as an inspiration in making the controversial movie.
Moore, who served as executive producer on the album, says: " "Though the songs on this album aren't 'mine,' I feel them in me, and they urge me on to do the work we all need to do. I hope they have the same effect on you." Everything on the record was selected by Moore based on the songs and the artists that he listened to as he created his documentary. Says Brunman: "Music has always provided inspiration in turbulent times. These songs have the power to move people from the sidelines to the front lines." De la Rocha's "We Want It All," produced by Trent Reznor and de la Rocha, is the album's lead single and video, as well as the vocalist's first new album-based recording in five years. "Seeing Fahrenheit 9/11 was like hearing Dylan's 'Masters of War' or Public Enemy's 'Bring The Noise' for the first time," says Zack. "It wasn't just about melody, great production or hard ryhmes. It was the weight of the argument and what the piece forced me to consider." Sony BMG Music is donating one half of its net profits from U.S. sales of this CD to the Fallen Patriot Fund, the charity selected by Michael Moore. The Fallen Patriot Fund of the Mark Cuban Foundation was established to help families of U.S. military personnel who have been killed or seriously injured in the current Iraqi conflict. All funds raised go directly to the families. 350c69d7ab