Selections: Femi Kuti

Welcome back to Selections, a series of exclusive artist-curated Spotify playlists from those in the know.

For our latest entry into the series, we’re pleased to share a collection of tracks selected by Femi Kuti, the eldest son of Fela Kuti. Whilst his father is arguably the most revered Nigerian figure of the 20th century and a pioneer of the Afrobeat sound, Femi has, in his own right, left an indelible mark on the music’s tradition. First as a saxophonist in the Egypt 80 iteration of his father’s band, and later as bandleader alongside Dele Sosimi with Positive Force. From the 90s onwards he began releasing music under his own name and has since gone on to collaborate with the likes of D’Angelo, Mos Def, Common and Nile Rodgers.

He followed in his father’s footsteps with his activism too, campaigning for the economic liberation of Nigeria and other African countries whilst maintaining a political charge to his musical works. His playlist is full of tracks steeped in this tradition, including songs by the likes of James Brown, John Coltrane, Seal and Miles Davis, along with two of Fela Kuti’s own epic creations and Hugh Masekela’s anthemic Bring Him Back Home.

Femi Kuti plays Field Day, London, on 7 June