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Meet Fela’s Grandson, Made Kuti, Who Is Continuing The Family’s Legacy



Made Kuti

His grandfather attended his naming ceremony and named him “Afolabi,” which means “born into greatness.” Made Kuti

Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, the legendary musician, activist, and creator of the afrobeat music genre, is Made’s grandfather. When his grandfather died in 1997, he was a toddler.

Made’s father is the four-time Grammy nominee, Femi Kuti, who has kept the Afrobeat message alive in more recent decades as the leader of his own band, The Positive Force.

Omorinmade Kuti, better known as Made Kuti, is the third generation of the Kuti family’s musical lineage.

Made spent his formative years in The New Afrika Shrine. As the son of Femi and the grandson of Fela, he was immersed in music from an early age, fiddling with instruments as a toddler.

He enjoys genres such as Jazz, Alternative Rock, and, of course, Afrobeat, all of which have contributed to the development of his own distinct musical style.

As a multi-instrumentalist and composer, he can play up to six instruments at once, including the saxophone, trumpet, guitar, bass, and others.

He began playing the trumpet at the age of three, the alto sax at the age of five, the piano at the age of eight, the drums and guitar at the age of twelve, and the bass at the age of fifteen.

On most days, he said, he practices for up to seven hours, seamlessly transitioning from instrument to instrument.

Made Kuti

He toured the world as a child with his father’s Positive Force band, performing at legendary venues such as Glastonbury and the Hollywood Bowl at the age of eight.

He attended the Trinity Laban Conservatoire in London, where Fela also studied.

Made released his music debut last year (2020) with his single, ‘Free Your Mind’, which he says encourages listeners to live above the chains imposed by the country’s ostensibly limiting education system.

The single came before his debut album, For(e)ward, which was released in February by Partisan Records. Every instrument on Made’s album was played by him.

Throughout For(e)ward, Made provides a fresh take on the Afrobeat sound pioneered by Fela in the 1970s and 1980s. The album is a modern and progressive freedom manifesto that pushes Afrobeat’s boundaries. ‘For(e)ward’ is packaged alongside Femi’s new album ‘Stop The Hate,’ and the two albums are appropriately titled Legacy +.

Made, like his famous grandfather and father, is a torchbearer for his family’s Black consciousness and activist politics. His songs are about the neglect of the government, police brutality, and the need for progressive action in Africa’s most populous country.

L-r: Seun, Made and Femi Kuti performing in Lagos 2020 Photograph Bolaji Alonge-Eyes of a Lagos Boy

Made Kuti

Made Kuti

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