5 Nigerian Celebrities Who Have Been Influenced By Fela

Fela has also been able to influence scores of musical artists decades after his death on August 2, 1997

Many Nigerian celebrities have ascribed their style and artistry to Fela’s music.

Here are 5 from the lot:


1.   Tiwa Savage

In an interview with Buzz, the 41-year-old Nigerian singer and songwriter revealed that her Afrobeat single ’49:99′ was inspired by Fela.

She said “To anyone that’s doing Afrobeat, Afropop, he’s the king, the godfather. he’s the standard, he’s the template for all us, male and female.

2.    Burnaboy

Burnaboy apparently has been in the shadows of Fela for a long time as his grandfather had once managed the Afrobeat king.

Burnaboy has also sampled quite a number of Fela’s songs.

He was once quoted to say, “Everyone’s got their hero. For me, that’s (Fela) my hero”.


3.   Wizkid

At a point, the 30-year-old Surulere-bred, Wizkid used to dress like Fela.

Not to mention that Wizkid grew up in Ojuelegba, an area in Lagos that Fela reigned before his death and around where his shrine is.

In a 2017 interview with a Nation of Billions, Wizkid said in response to what inspired his music:

“Then I started growing up and started listening to Bob Marley a lot, then listening to the Fela – the music my parents were listening to and enjoying. I started listening to that alot”.

4.    Falz

In His 4th studio album, Moral instruction, Falz samples three of Fela’s songs and dresses like the afrobeat in some of his videos.

He is quoted to say “We had to talk to his (Fela’s) estate, talk to different companies in France and another in the US that held the right to his Masters, I was this close to giving it all up but then I thought again, for what I want to achieve, I had to go ahead with it”,

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5.    Asa

Popular singer, songwriter and recording artist, Asa has also referred to Fela as one of her major influences on her music.

In 2014, Pulse Nigeria Post, Asa is said to have discovered music.

“While rummaging through her father’s music collection and discovered classics such as Marvin Gaye, Fela Kuti, Bob Marley, Aretha Franklin, Sunny Ade, Ebenezer Obey and Lagbaja.

What other artist do you know Fela influenced?





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