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Baker's Dozen

Elevate Your Mind: Seun Anikulapo Kuti's Favourite Albums
Richie Troughton , May 30th, 2018 08:47

Following the release of Black Times, his fourth album with Egypt '80, Seun Anikulapo Kuti guides Richie Troughton through a selection of 13 revolutionary, spiritual and mystical albums that have inspired him.


Ibeyi – Ash

Ibeyi are a powerful group. For me, musicianship matters, I think that has shown on this list. I really love musicians, not just artists who make music for the musicianship. Ibeyi are two sisters who share a certain dynamic, maybe it is because they are twins. They share a certain musicianship and connection. The piano, their voices, their harmonies. It is quite transcendent. Especially their interpretation of spirituality, because I am Yoruba and they are Yoruba too by ancestry and religion, and they are channelling their spirituality. It resonates very strongly.

How would you describe their music?

New soul, Cuban jazz, fusion, hip hop. But I think the word, really, is spiritual. Ibeyi are a spiritual experience. A bit like The Last Poets, but with beautiful voices.

And their father was also a musician, Cuban percussionist Anga Díaz.

Yeah, yeah, of course. I am not trying to say they are on this list because of their father, or because I also have a famous father. They are on this list because they are a spiritual pair.

My father played Afrobeat music before me, but that does not mean I must only play Afrobeat music. The only way to break out of that is to realise that there is nothing really to break out of. There is nothing the artist can do. And also, people don't also see this other side of the coin. When your father is famous, yes, it opens the door, but then the standard is set right there! You come in and they are expecting you to just go (points up)! You see, that is a downside also, it is a two-way street. Nobody is anywhere because their father did anything. Except if their father specifically left them some money. That's good!