Language as a product of cultural contact

(This article was first published in 1998.)


Fela Kuti’s songs ‘Sorrow, Tears, and Blood’ (S.T.B.) and ‘Colonial Mentality’ (Colomentality) were released in 1977 on Kalakuta Records. This was actually the first release on Kalakuta Records, Fela Kuti’s own label.’Fear Not For Man’ was released in the same year on ‘Afrodisia’, Decca West Africa Ltd., a large Nigerian record company.’ Original Sufferhead’ and ‘Power Show’ came out in 1981 on Arista Records Ltd., one branch of the ‘super major’ Ariola. At this time Fela Kuti had already created the musical style which made him well-known all over the world. His fusion of Afro-American soul and funk elements, jazz skills he had acquired in the 1960’s by studying and playing in London, and African influences like Highlife music, ignited this new genre of music, Afrobeat: ‘The story of Fela Anikulapo Kuti is the history of Afrobeat music – that commercial and currently best known variety of modern African music’.1 Continue reading “Language as a product of cultural contact”