Wednesday, November 18

Jay-Z, Will and Jada Give Life to an Unknown Musical Great

You never know when your time will come! That's most definitely true for Nigerian Afrobeat creator, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti. Kuti has been held by many, " one of the greatest musicians of the 20th century," yet his sounds went unheard to many of us warped by whatever popular culture is feeding us at the time.

Thanks to the support of powerhouses like Jay-Z, Will and Jada Smith, Kuti's work will be featured in a new Broadway musical, "Fela!" opening Nov. 23. Although Kuti himself passed away years ago and will be unable to see this grand homage to the music he created, his fans, loyal, and new, will be able to witness this deserving musical genius finally receive the recognition he's always deserved.

The moral: Let your music speak for itself! Your big break may not come when you want it, but with patience and preparation you'll receive a reward even bigger than what your imagination has already cooked up. Leaders continue to walk, always facing forward, never looking back. After while, you'll hear your followers lining up behind you.

On another note, musicals are a major way to reach audiences on a grand scale and not a bad idea for any musician unafraid to venture into new arenas. There is a TON of money in musical theater. (Don't let the high kicks and glitter fool you.) Google 'musical theater scores' or 'film scores' to learn more about making your music the soundtrack to the next hit stage play or film. Visit your local theater or connect with up-and-coming film makers (who are usually working on independent films.) Kuti's influence is growing beyond the grave. You're alive and breathing. What's you excuse?


Jay-Z, Will Smith Put Money On 'Fela!'
Jay-Z, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith have officially signed on as co-producers of "Fela!," a new musical about Nigerian Afrobeat pioneer Fela Anikulapo-Kuti opening Nov. 23 on Broadway. The news confirms weeks of speculation that the three would back the show.

Although a rep for "Fela!" did not say how large of an investment the celebrities are making, their endorsement alone gives "Fela!'s" profile a significant boost just a week before its premiere. "There's going to be an enormous incentive for people to investigate Fela when they know that Jay-Z and Will Smith are all rabid fans," Rikki Stein, Kuti's former co-manager and the executor of his estate, recently told Billboard. "It's a sign that the underground is moving overground."

"Fela!" will help find a larger audience for Kuti, who pioneered Afrobeat from the sounds of James Brown and West African high-life music, became a political icon in his native Nigeria and earned the admiration of everyone from Paul McCartney to the Brazilian singer Gilberto Gil before dying in 1997. Stein plans to capitalize on this exposure to cement his legacy as one of the greatest artists of the 20th century.

"I have an abiding regret that Fela never achieved the recognition he deserved during his lifetime," Stein says. "We have a long row to hoe in terms of general knowledge and acceptance."

To read entire article click here.

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I dO Music!..."Empowering Musicians Worldwide"

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