Femi Kuti, Made Kuti and Wizkid have been defeated in the battle to win a Grammy at the 64th edition at the MGM Arena in Las Vegas.
Wizkid, Femi, and Imade lost out in the Best Global Music Performance and Best Global Music Album categories.
As the Nigerians lost to Arooj Aftab for her single ‘Mohabbat’ in the Best Global Music Performance, Angelique Kidjo clinched the Best Global Music Album.
In her acceptance speech, Kidjo lauded African youths who have collaborated with her to promote the continent.
Last year, Wizkid won his first Grammy prize for a feature on Beyonce’s song, ‘Brown Skin Girl.” Burna Boy, on the other hand, clinched the Best Global Music Album category after losing out the previous year.
Burna Boy and Wizkid made history after winning their first-ever Grammy in the 2021 Awards.
Burna Boy clinched the award for the ‘Best World Music” category with his ‘Twice As Tall’ album while Wizkid picked up the prize for his collaboration with American Singer Beyonce and her daughter Blue Ivy for the track “Brown Skin Girl” in the ‘Best Music Video” category.
Meanwhile, Jazzman and bandleader Jon Batiste led the pack with 11 nominations, followed by Justin Bieber, H.E.R., and Doja Cat with eight, as Billie Eilish and Olivia Rodrigo nabbed seven.
The 64th annual Grammy Awards will be broadcast by CBS from Los Angeles on January 31, 2022.
– Album of the Year –
We Are — Jon Batiste
Love For Sale — Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga
Justice (Triple Chucks Deluxe) — Justin Bieber
Planet Her (Deluxe) — Doja Cat
Happier Than Ever — Billie Eilish
Back Of My Mind — H.E.R.
Montero — Lil Nas X
Sour — Olivia Rodrigo
Evermore — Taylor Swift
Donda — Kanye West
– Record of the Year
“I Still Have Faith In You” — ABBA
“Freedom” — Jon Batiste
“I Get A Kick Out Of You” — Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga
“Peaches” — Justin Bieber Featuring Daniel Caesar & Giveon
“Right On Time” — Brandi Carlile
“Kiss Me More” — Doja Cat Featuring SZA
“Happier Than Ever” — Billie Eilish
“Montero” (Call Me By Your Name) — Lil Nas X
“drivers license” — Olivia Rodrigo
“Leave The Door Open” — Silk Sonic
– Song of the Year, recognizing songwriting –
“Bad Habits” — Fred Gibson, Johnny McDaid & Ed Sheeran, songwriters (Ed Sheeran)
“A Beautiful Noise” — Ruby Amanfu, Brandi Carlile, Brandy Clark, Alicia Keys, Hillary Lindsey, Lori McKenna, Linda Perry & Hailey Whitters, songwriters (Alicia Keys And Brandi Carlile)
“Kiss Me More” — Roget Chahayed, Amala Zandile Dlamini, Lukasz Gottwald, Carter Lang, Gerard A. Powell II, Solana Rowe & David Sprecher, songwriters (Doja Cat Featuring SZA)
“Leave The Door Open” — Brandon Anderson, Christopher Brody Brown, Dernst Emile II & Bruno Mars, songwriters (Silk Sonic)
“Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” — Denzel Baptiste, David Biral, Omer Fedi, Montero Hill & Roy Lenzo, songwriters (Lil Nas X)
“Peaches” — Louis Bell, Justin Bieber, Giveon Dezmann Evans, Bernard Harvey, Felisha “Fury” King, Matthew Sean Leon, Luis Manual Martinez Jr., Aaron Simmonds, Ashton Simmonds, Andrew Wotman & Keavan Yazdani, songwriters (Justin Bieber Featuring Daniel Caesar & Giveon)
“Right On Time” — Brandi Carlile, Dave Cobb, Phil Hanseroth & Tim Hanseroth, songwriters (Brandi Carlile)
– Best New Artist –
The Kid Laroi
– Best Music Video –
“Shot In The Dark” — AC/DC
“Freedom” — Jon Batiste
“I Get A Kick Out Of You” — Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga
“Peaches” — Justin Bieber Featuring Daniel Caesar & Giveon
Music Legend Femi Kuti has joined other Nigerians in the ongoing protest calling for an end to police brutality by men of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad.
The protesters are calling for an end to SARS, reforms in the police, the release of some of the protesters who were arrested by the police during last week’s protests, prosecution of the officers that killed these victims, and compensation for the families of the deceased.
They are also calling for an end to police brutality, insisting that President Muhammadu Buhari should make the pronouncement disbanding SARS by way of an executive order.
Meanwhile, President Buhari has reacted to the outcry on the reform of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) promising to extensively reform the Force.
The President declared that the disbanding of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) is the first step to extensive police reforms by his administration.
“I will like to use this opportunity to say a word on the recent genuine concerns and agitations by Nigerians about the excessive use of force and in some cases extra-judicial killings and wrongful conduct of the men of the Nigerian Police Force.
“The disbanding of SARS is only the first step in our commitment to extensive police reforms in order to ensure that the primary duty of the police and other law enforcement agencies remains the protection of lives and livelihood of our people,” President Buhari said.
Niniola has shared the music video for her latest single “Fantasy,” which was originally released in February, and is featuring Grammy nominee and Afrobeat icon Femi Kuti.
The track, produced by Kel-P, features rich vocals from Niniola, and classy saxophone riffs and horn arrangements from Femi Kuti.
“I used to watch videos of Fela Kuti and Femi Kuti, and I loved the music but I also loved the way the dancers moved their waist and hips,” says Niniola. “I always wanted to do that. It was a childhood dream to record with the legend Femi Kuti. It’s one thing to have that dream, another for it to come to pass and you actually love the record. The vibe was surreal—we were shooting in The Shrine, the home of Afrobeat!”
The music video, directed by Sesan, takes place at New Afrika Shrine in Ikeja, and features colorful and energetic dancers, wearing looks inspired by the late Fela Kuti’s female dance crew, the Kalakuta Queens.
“Fantasy” is the singer’s latest offering since she released “Omo Rapala” in January.
The French President had arrived at the Shrine from Abuja where he held talks with President Muhammadu Buhari about terrorism, the economy and other issues affecting the country and African continent.
When he arrived at the Shrine, Macron quickly switched into a less formal mood, taking off his suit jacket and tie before announcing the launch of the African Cultural Season and having fun at the live show.
Iconic afrobeat star and Fela’s eldest son Femi Kuti thrilled Macron and other guests with a live performance at the Shrine with the support of fellow African music heavyweights Angelique Kidjo and Youssou N’dour.
Beyond praising African culture, Macron was delighted to be back in Nigeria where served as an intern with the French embassy in 2002. During that stint in Nigeria, Macron had visited the Shrine.
“I’m very happy to be here with you tonight,” he said of his return to the “iconic” venue.
“I discovered Nigeria and a lot of my friends are here. I discovered Nigeria and I discovered Lagos and I discovered the shrine.
“This place is an iconic place and it is a place where the best of music is given. I have to say my main memories about this place are friends, proud people, proud of their culture, proud of their art and music. I have a very different view of Africa than a lot of other people in Europe.”
He called on Nigerians and Africans to “build a new common narrative” on the continent and to continue to move forward.
“You have to recognise the bad and negative pages of this history, but you have to move forward,” he said.
When news filtered in that French President Emmanuel Macron would visit Nigeria on Tuesday, one aspect of his visit dominated the headlines.
The French President would be spending some time at the legendary Afrika Shrine in Lagos.
True to expectations, after dispensing with formal Presidential duties with a visit to the Presidential Villa in Abuja where he held talks with President Muhammadu Buhari, the French President flew to Lagos.
At the Shrine, music, history, and culture blended together with a presidential touch to ensure a night of fun.
Macron (who swiftly dispensed with his suit and rolled up his sleeves upon arrival), Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode and many others were thrilled by the iconic Femi Kuti with other African music heavyweights such as Angelique Kidjo and Youssou N’dour.
As Femi Kuti played a single note on his saxophone for 51 minutes and 35 seconds, his fans held their breath in excitement and disbelief.
This was the second attempt by the Nigerian artist, who took up music from his father, the legendary King of Afrobeat, Fela Kuti.
The first time he did it, he only broke the record set in 1997 by American artist, Kenny G at 45 minutes, 47 seconds but not the one set by Vann Burchfield at 47 minutes, 5.5 seconds in 2000.
The realisation that he had fallen short of the record was heartbreaking for Femi’s fans. He says they convinced him to try again.
On Sunday at the Shrine, where his father Fela electrified music lovers with his hip-shaking and a strangely hypnotic blend of jazz, funk and West African folk rhythms, Femi went over 51 minutes.
Of the feeling, he says, “Very nice, satisfied, you feel complete because it seems like an impossible task…
“I trained on Friday… on Friday I couldn’t go past 30 minutes, I trained again on Saturday, I couldn’t go, I got to 39 minutes and at stopping at 39 minutes I was like ‘wow, it’s impossible.
“When I even tried I burst my lip. And Sunday was just around the corner, I knew my lip would not heal before Sunday so I was already very worried.”
Consequently, he said he informed his team and friends that it was an impossible feat, but they reminded him that he had already promised to take another shot at breaking the record.
They assured him that even if he failed to break it, he would still have their love.
Femi says he learnt the skill known as circular breathing – a technique where players breathe through their nose while pushing out air, from his father who taught it using a straw and water.
In a series of tweets sent from their Twitter account, Guinness World Records said they rested the category several years ago and that they no longer monitor longest wind instruments notes using the circular breathing technique.
Femi reassured his fans, saying his attempt was not to break the record but to enhance creativity.
“They should not be disappointed that the Guinness Book does not recognise the award. It wasn’t… it was never my objective; if it was my objective I would have called them to be there. I didn’t want them to be there,” he said.
He added that the feat was “to show the possibility” especially to young African boys and girls that there is no limit to achieving greatness even at his age.
Femi who says his father had warned him not to allow talent to get to his head because that was not the essence of music, plays at the Shrine every week to a packed house and like his father is also a dedicated activist with a cult following.
“The record came so late because everybody has been anticipating this record for the past three to five years and you can see that we are so happy and we are very very proud of Femi and we will support him to the end,” David Phillip, a resident of Lagos said.
Now that this is done, Femi says he is back to creating music.
Afrobeat Maestro, Femi Kuti, has spoken out on the much publicised paternity test that proved that his two children were not actually his.
the publication had gone viral last week, leaving Nigerians with thoughts running wild.
In an interview with Channels Television’s entertainment correspondent, Femi Kuti explained what led to the test.
The son of late Fela Kuti, however, said that the incident was not a recent one but something that had happened eight years ago.
He, however, did not give the name of the woman involved, as he kept referring to her as his girlfriend.
“They wrote it as if it happened yesterday so that I will feel very sad. Do i look Sad to yo? Even then i was not even sad.
“It happened eight years ago. One of my girlfriends was talking on the phone with one of her lovers and I entered the room took the phone and discovered she was talking to a lover.
“And there was already a rumour in the Shrine that one of my children does not look like me and my sister advised me to address the issue. For security reasons and for the sake of the family, I took all my children for a DNA test and I found out that two were not my children,” he said.
Femi Kuti’s management team, Chocolate City, had earlier released an official statement, addressing the rumours about him carrying out a recent DNA test on his children.
In the statement, the group admitted that it was true but said that it was an excerpt from an interview that Femi Kuti granted some eight years ago.
The group stated that during the interview, Femi spoke on the identity of five of his children and then revealed that two of these 5 children were not his and that he had since making this discovery returned the children.
Nigerian afrobeat musician, Femi Kuti has blamed the leadership of Nigeria for the ills bedeviling the country.
Speaking in reaction to the video of a police officer that was taped while demanding for a bribe, the eldest son of afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti, said “as much as I am very against it, if the leaders of this country look at the problems of this country objectively, the police force will be the kind of police force we desire and we deserve”.
He blamed the leaders, especially after the return to democratic rule in 1999 of treating the problems of the country with laxity.
He looked at other parts of the economy, Kuti said “we look at education, how many police officers can afford? I tell you it’s only the AIG, the top police officers can send his kids to the best schools inis country.
He said it is impossible to eradicate corruption to in the country without paying the police officers well.
Kuti asked about other police officers engaged in soliciting and collecting of bribes saying ‘’what about the rest that do it on a daily basis” adding that “what about the mechanics that keep stealing the parts of your car, what about your house help” he quipped.
He lamented the fact that “to buy drugs in general hospital today, you have to bribe the doctor, the nurse… to get your way, to get treated, to get a bed in general hospital”.
He said the dismissed police officer (Chris Omeleze) will be used as a “scape goat” noting that “he is not the problem” but an “unfortunate part of the problem”.
Kuti further noted that “probably if the police are paid very well, they are not enlightened to know that they are been paid very well, because the corruption is now embedded in our system, it is now in our blood”
Kuti, who just returned from a tour of Europe, also bemoaned the high level of unemployment in the country but was quick to admit that it is fast becoming a global phenomenon.
He said “when you go to Spain there are no jobs, when you go to England people have no jobs, when you to France people…… You see problem was an African problem, poverty was an African problem, unfortunately is a global problem now”.