Nigerian Highlife and Victor Olayia

In Search of Fela Anikulapo Kuti - Max Reinhardt

Max Reinhardt [+-]
DJ and Writer
Max Reinhardt is a club DJ, music writer, compiler, BBC World Service radio presenter and a composer for children's theatre and television. With fellow juror Rita Ray, he's co-hosted a string of innovative club events, including the acclaimed Shrine nights, DJ's with Andy Sheppard's Short Cuts and programmes international music festivals in London.
Rita Ray [+-]
DJ and Broadcaster
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Rita Ray is a Club DJ, radio and TV presenter (including the BBC World Music Awards, Festival in the Desert and WOMAD), arranges and produces records and is musical director of theatre and vocal groups.


Fela Anikulapo Kuti is certainly one of the major figures of 20th century music. In his lifetime, he became the legendary Afrobeat superstar, freedom fighter and counter-cultural figure in Nigeria and throughout West Africa, but little known outside. Fourteen years after his untimely death from complications arising from AIDS , his musical influence, legacy, myth and record sales are in full bloom across the world. But Fela remains an explosively controversial figure. The details and the significance of his life and of his legacy have become mythologised on the one hand and tidied up and made into a corporate heritage industry on the other. This book charts a way into the labyrinth. Filled with a beguiling cacophony of voices, friends, family, musicians, critics, journalists, queens, residents of his Kalakuta commune…, all talk about Fela: agreeing and disagreeing, accusing and supporting, rejoicing and mourning, criticising and applauding. Neither account nor biography …its more like a time capsule (circa 2004/5) of a living breathing conversation/discussion/forum about Fela, a man they all knew. Based round the 40 hours of recorded interviews with key people in Fela’s life (some now sadly departed), which took place on three continents on the way to making the authors' Sunday feature ‘In Search of Fela Anikulapo Kuti’ (for BBC Radio 3), plus new interviews, including Brian Eno and Val Wilmer, the book shapes the contributions into the thematic contours of Fela’s life.

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Reinhardt, Max ; Ray, Rita . Nigerian Highlife and Victor Olayia. In Search of Fela Anikulapo Kuti. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. Mar 2024. ISBN 9781845532017. Date accessed: 24 Jun 2024 doi: 10.1558/equinox.25020. Mar 2024

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