Re-telling The History Of Afrobeat Through Mason Oruru’s Afrobeat Got Soul
Fela Anikulapo-Kuti is synonymous to the term ‘Afrobeat’ and has continued to be a veritable point of reference in Music, Arts and Culture today. Mason Oruru’s ‘Afrobeat Got Soul’, tackles and exposes contradictions and misconceptions that may alter the authenticity of African music in the future. For Mason, as recounted in his book, Fela coined Afrobeat, a Pan-Africanist music seated in pride and afro-consciousness.
Although the cross-pollination of African and western music had already been in existence since the 40s with others who had their versions of criss-cross rhythms like afro-jazz, afro-soul, afro-pop or even Afrobeat, the revolutionary transformation of Fela and his invention of “Afrobeat” was original.
At a time when contemporary African music is being recognised on a global scale, Mason deems it necessary to tackle and expose contradictions and misconceptions that may alter the authenticity of the history of African music in the years to come. From his personal experiences as a Lagos boy in the seventies, he recounts the history of Afrobeat, the evolution of Afrobeat music from the early 70s up until the mid 80s and explores the connectedness of Afrobeat with western music.
Although an astute academic, the author who is also a lover of music, continues to advocate for the preservation of Africa’s cultural heritage through her music, while in lavish appreciation for veterans and new talents who have left and are still leaving their marks on the Nigerian music scene.
From his own lenses, Mason Oruru presents factual evidences by his use of story-telling, quite in-depth analysis and personal encounters to project the ingenuity of African music as a solid arm of Africa’s various cultures and unifying pride.
‘Afrobeat got Soul’ gives a detailed exposition of Nigerian Music and how it started way before we thought it did and also how oral tradition can distort the accuracy of historical events. The author in his use of imagery gives an immersive experience of Lagos night life in the seventies and his personal encounters with the Afrobeat legend, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti.
‘Afrobeat got Soul’ is for all lovers of the Arts, young and old lovers of music, students of Music in the various higher institutions of learning, Professionals in the Nigerian Music industry, and historians alike.