Twice As Good: Femi Kuti Speaks On Breaking Saxophone Record

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.

Nigeria Is Home Once Again – Jide Chord

Jide ChordUK based Nigerian Juju Musician, Jide Akinwunmi popularly known as Jide Chord has taken his music back to Nigeria.

He made this known while appearing as the ‘Guest of the Week’ on Channels Television’s Sunrise. He noted that he decided to take his trade to the United Kingdom because he felt the home turf was saturated and he had a better chance of making it abroad.

He admitted that the audience was smaller in the UK and he was aware of the risk in his decision but he was able to follow his heart because he had alternative skills like music production and entrepreneurial skills that would help him balance things out.

Jide noted that 40% of his audience were Nigerians and about 60% were other nationals. He revealed that the secret to his ability to capture a large non-Nigerian fan base could also be linked to his radio audience and his performances at Jazz events with predominantly non-Nigerian audiences.

Jide’s education and vast knowledge of the Nigerian and European cultures also contributed to his rise and ability to take his music to many countries of the world. He revealed that asides performances, he has also written and presented academic papers on African Music at tertiary institutions overseas.

He, however, revealed that his major challenge was not getting bookings but the staff that worked with him. He noted that the typical Nigerian attitude to time became a major issue as many Nigerians in UK has many career commitments and lacked the time managements skills to combine these jobs with their role as members of his band.

At what point did Jide decide to check out of Nigeria? The guitar maestro, who was trained as a journalist and also worked in banking, said that he left Nigeria to seek greener pastures in 1988.

Jide Chord, who once left home to live with renowned Nigerian Magician, the late Professor Pellar, also revealed that during his years of struggle he had once practiced Magic and shared fond memories of that part of his life.

Jide concluded by saying that he indeed found those greener pastures on his sojourn abroad but said that he was back in Nigeria because now the grass was greener in the country.

Afro-Soul Songtress, Teni Unveils Video For “Your Love Is The Key”

Nigerian Afro-Soul/Jazz songstress, Teni, has released the music video for her single ‘Your Love Is The Key.’

Shot in Labadi Beach in Accra, Ghana and directed by Kemist Gold, the video for “Your Love Is The Key” is a simple, natural and ethereal experience which not only accentuates the sultry uniqueness of the single but also pays homage to early 80’s photo-cinema and music.

In full diva mode, Teni channels her sensuality and shows off her beautiful African silhouette.

Her debut album Afrodisiac which is a blend of soulful Jazz and Afrobeats inspired classic is set to revolutionize music with an epic new sound that transcends genres – from Jazz and the Blues to Soul and Reggae – to have a strong, truly universal message.

Enjoy her brand new video for “Your Love Is The Key” below and prepare yourself for what she has in store for us in 2014.

Akon, Hugh Masekela to grace Calabar Festival

Barely a week to the commencement of the Calabar festival, the SA event Management, Cross River State, Mr Nzan Ugbe has released the itinerary for the 31 days event.

The S.A. events management of Cross River state; Mr. Nzan ugbe has reeled out the itinerary for the Calabar Festival; a 31-day event which will kick-start on Friday,

According to him, topping the list of the list of international and local musicians expected to perform at the event are R & B and hip hop recording artist, Akon and legendary South African trumpeter, composer and singer, Hugh Masekela at the 2012 Calabar Festival.

Akon who owns and manages two successful record labels, convict Muzik and Kon Live Distribution, will be performing at the festival for a second time.

Nigeria’s biggest music stars such as 2 Face, MI, Ice Prince, P-Square, Wizkid, J Martins and Naeto C are also billed to perform during the 31 – day event.

Other local acts include Timaya, Duncan Mighty, Ruggedman, Wande Coal, Iyanya, Nigg a Raw,Flavour and the Azonto exponent, Sakordie from Ghana.

Speaking Music Genres, Jazz music lovers have also been catered for by the organizers of the Festival they lined up Jonathan Butler, Kunle Ayo and Moses Philips to perform at the Jazz in Paradise segment of the festival.

Comedians have also been invited to be part of the event to put smiles on the faces of Nigerians.

The list includes I Go Die,Klint de Drunk, Shirman, Julius Agwu, Gordons, Akpororo, MC Mbakara, Prof. Aboki, White Nigerian, Last Prophet,  Headmaster, Whokes and Robert Ekpo.

For the Calabar praise Night, the list of artists is no less impressive as respected acts like Sammy Okposo,Hope Davies, Sinach, Sabina, Ohen de prophet, Kingsley Agbor and Godswill Daniel.

The festival will also witness the commissioning of a cinema, where the movie; streets of Calabar will premiere.

There will also be the Festival of Arts and Craft, golf and football matches, the selection of a new Calabar Carnival Queen and the Green concert among other new additions to the yearly event.