Seun Anikulapo Kuti
Born in 1983, Seun first began performing with Egypt 80 at the age of nine, warming up audiences with renditions of his father's songs. After Fela's death in 1997, Seun stepped up to the front of the band, leading the celebrated combo as both lead vocalist and saxophonist. While his father's influence cannot be understated, Kuti was determined to cut his own distinctive musical path, incorporating contemporary influences into the traditional Afrobeat approach.
"What inspires me is the time that I live in," Kuti says. "Basically what is happening today in Africa are the same things that were happening 40 years ago, when my father was songwriting, but they're happening in different ways. So when I write my music, it's from the perspective of a 27-year-old man living in 2011, instead of a 30-year-old man living in the 1970s."
Seun Kuti is determined to speak to the new generation of young Africans born after his father's glory days. If he learned but one lesson from Fela, it is that that no one has greater impact on hearts and mind than the true artist. "Music has great impact on people's feelings," Kuti says. "That's what music should be. Pop music today is all about me, me, me. Nobody is singing about we. But nothing can change if we don't look out for our brothers and sisters."