Today marks 20 years since Fela Anikulapo Kuti passed away and his influence on today’s Nigerian music scene is unmatched. As part of our content for the day, we share a number of Fela covers which we approve of wholeheartedly.

Temi Dollface & Breis at Felabration

At Felabration 2016, Temi Dollface and Breis covered Zombie and while Temi was near flawless, Breis, who we’re assuming is the guy who proceeds to begin rapping is an experiment absolutely nobody should have to experience.

ANerGy at DDC, Paris

A band who identify themselves as Afrobeat Natural Ginger covered Shuffering and Shmiling, an idea that still remains relevant 40 years after its release and goes to show how evergreen the great man’s music is till this day.

Antibalas Ft. Davido at Lincoln Center

In July 2016 at Okay Africa’s Afrobeat x Afrobeats show in New York, the Brooklyn based band who are modeled after Fela’s Africa 70 Band linked with Davido and covered music from the greatest to do it.

FALANA UNCOVER’D

In 2016, impressive alternative singer, Falana, hosted a series of pop up concerts tagged Falana Uncover’d. During the build up, she opted to cover some classics including Nina Simone’s Feeling Good and Fela’s Lady.

David Operah on The Voice

In 2016, David Operah, one of the members of Team 2 Baba on The Voice Nigeria delivered a scintillating cover of Fela’s Lady in the semi finals. Operah seemed to bring the whole Fela package with some particularly good movement also. In contrast to Falana, Operah minimizes the changes he makes to Fela’s original version.

Hugh Masekela at World of Music Arts and Dance

Real will always recognise real. South African legend, Hugh Masekela revers Fela and credits the pioneer of Afrobeat for teaching him one or two things as both acts faced different forms of adversity in the 1980s. In 2012, Masekela took to the stage at Charlton Park and delivered a performance of his dear friend and brother’s Lady. 

Brymo on The Cover Show

Earlier this year, Brymo took to Aristokrat and Spinlet’s The Cover Show where he delivered a cover of Fela’s Palava. One thing is obvious, Brymo had a ton of fun doing this or he has a great future as an actor.

Lindsey Abudei covers Trouble Sleep Yanga Go Wake Am.

In 2014, alternative singer, Lindsey Abudei released a cover of Fela’s Trouble Sleep Yanga Go Wake Am as well as an accompanying video. The cut which was employed in Ndani TV’s Gidi Up slows down the track and added some extra instrumentation.

Antibalas in Paris

Not all heroes wear capes. Antibalas were in mind when whoever came up with that quote did. In 2012, at a performance in Paris, the group covered Gba Mi Leti Ki N’Dolowo off Fela’s 1976 Ikoyi Blindness album. Turns out the idea of getting hurt to reap the benefits of a lawsuit are older than we all are.