Post-Humous Album: For Tony Allen ‘There Is No End’

(FILES) In this file photo taken on June 27, 2010 Nigerian drummer Tony Allen performs during the Glastonbury festival near Pilton. (Photo by LEON NEAL / AFP)

 

 

Legendary Nigerian drummer Tony Allen, who pioneered Afrobeat alongside his old band mate Fela Kuti, was knocking out rhythms right up until his death last year at the age of 79.

And as shown on a new album out this week, Allen never stopped pushing boundaries and promoting young talent.

At the time of his death in April 2020, he was deep into a new project that aimed to showcase a new generation of stars.

“Tony wanted to do a rap album, to feature some young rappers, boys and girls, but outside the norm,” the new album’s co-producer Vincent Taeger told AFP.

His friends and collaborators decided to complete the work he had started, resulting in “There Is No End”, which is released on Friday.

“When he left us, it was very hard,” Taeger said. “A month later, his record label and manager contacted me to say: ‘You made a lot of progress, you should respect the wishes of the master and finish the album’.”

Allen had already recorded the drum parts and some bass lines, and was exploring potential collaborations with up-and-coming artists.

“Tony always loved hip-hop. With Fela, there was already the groove, the party, the dancing that lasts all night, just like the early rap sound-system parties,” Allen’s manager Eric Trosset told AFP.

 

There Is No End is a remarkable way to say goodbye to Tony Allen.

 

– ‘A smuggler’ –
Allen was one of the founding fathers of Afrobeat in the 1960s and 1970s as a drummer for Fela Kuti and musical director of his Africa ’70 band.

They recorded around 40 albums together before parting ways after a 26-year collaboration.

Allen continued to reach new audiences, particularly through his work with Blur singer Damon Albarn and his groups Gorillaz and The Good, the Bad and the Queen.

For the new album, the only song that had been completed at the time of his death was “Cosmosis” featuring British rapper Skepta and poet Ben Okri, who are also of Nigerian origin.

But that represents just a small part of the eclectic mix of styles brought together posthumously by Taeger and another frequent collaborator, Vincent Taurelle.

“Rich Black” brings in the rhymes of US rapper Koreatown Oddity, while “Tres Magnifique” has nods to Tom Waits.

And it falls to young British star Lava La Rue to match the tempo set by Allen on “One Inna Million”.

“We’ve managed to make an album that resembles Tony with some really great featured artists, not all of them very well known yet, that will give them a boost. Tony was always a smuggler in that way,” said Taeger, who goes by the name Tiger Tigre for his own solo projects.

“At the start, I said, ‘Damn, Tony isn’t here, it’s going to be very different. He obviously wanted to meet these rappers for the recordings in all four corners of the globe,” he added.

“But he trusted me, he knew that I spoke the same language as him.”

Even without Allen, the possibility of bringing the album to the stage has not been entirely ruled out, said Taeger, who is considering a crowdfunding campaign.

“I’ve thought about it. There are a lot of great drummers like Questlove (of The Roots), Anderson .Paak, who knew him. They could do a few concerts to show off Tony’s style.”

May7ven Drops ‘Made Up My Mind’

May7venSinger and Queen of Afrobeats, May7ven, has released a new single titled ‘Made Up My Mind’.

‘Made Up My Mind’  was produced by Antoine Stone, and mixed by Ozzie (Triple O Productions).

The song captures a defiant and fiery May7ven displaying her amazing vocals, songwriting skills and undeniable Pop sensibilities.

May7ven is the first independent Afrobeats artist to be A-listed on UK commercial radio and debut on MTV Base UK top 10 twice.

Click To Listen!

Gaise Set To Bring Ebenezer Obey & Fela Kuti Together For The Youths

Gaise, Coded TunesFast rising Afro-fusion artiste, Gaise recently signed to Id Cabasa’s Coded Tunes Entertainment and from all indications the rapper is set to take his music to new heights.

Having grown up in a typical Yoruba family in Ile Ife where he was exposed to local lifestyles – climbing trees and rolling tyres as pastime – Gaise has learned to appreciate life and philosophy on a deeper level.

Like most singers, his passion for music started out in the Church and the desire to be original in content and delivery led him to become a song writer.

In an interview with Channels Television’s Entertainment News, Gaise shared some of his thoughts on the music scene in the country, laying out his plan to bring options to Nigeria’s youth.

“I feel that young people, children and those who are at the mercy of the music that is available deserve an alternative,” he said.

According to him, “there is too much of a kind of music right now and I’m not talking of style. I’m talking of content.

“It (music available) is pretty much about body parts and affluence – flexing and clubbing. I feel that there should be more mentally stimulating music – music that you hear and it makes you think.”

Gaise Coded Tunes

The rapper whose song ‘Little Drops’ gained impressive airplay told EN his music addresses issues and everyday living.

“Like I did with little drops and I was talking about Nigerians and the fact that with our actions, words and the things that we do, we actually influence the state of the nation

He further explained his opinion saying the floods in Lagos could not be blamed on the government but on citizens who litter the roads with waste.

“We are 20 million in Lagos, so if just four million of us are doing that, we have millions of litter blocking drainage. Of course, there’ll be flood.”

Although his music comes with a religious bias for Christianity which forms the boundaries for his content, Gaise admits that the late Afrobeats legend, Femi Anikulapo Kuti influences him – but only as regards delivery and style.

I am “considerably liberal. So I’m open to ideas. I’m open to learning…. so I expose my mind to those who have gone before (me)”

He adds that he will listen to rich music, even those that do not originate in Church,

“Any musician will be deceiving himself or herself if you do not give regard to the music that Fela did. I personally like the boldness with which he sang.”

Ebenezer Obey and Tope Alabi are some of the other musicians who inspire him.

“I want to do the Ebenezer Obey type of content with the Fela type fearlessness”.

Alexandra Burke Features May7ven On “Ooh La La” (Remix)

Three time UK chart topper, X-Factor winner and BRIT Award nominated pop star, Alexandra Burke, has released a brand new collaborative remix single titled “Ooh La La” featuring Nigerian afrobeat crooner, May7ven.

For the very first time, the Nigerian diva has come together with British Pop diva Alexandra, along with fast-rising production outfit Afrobeats Warehouse, to deliver an exciting and pulsating Dance/Afrobeats remix, driven by lush drum patterns and a glorious vocal showing from both Alexandra Burke and May7ven.

The singer has promised that a “steamy” music video will follow shortly for the dance track, “Ooh La La (Remix).”