My Royalist mother would have been smiling down at me from her seat on the right-hand side of God, as the taxi arrived to pick me up to meet the Queen at Buckingham Palace. Today would have been her seventy-third birthday, so I hope she’s still smiling down at me as I write this little missive.
Better known in Poland as one half of the duo, Przytuła & Kruk, Bartek Przytuła is worthy of attention in his own right as a blues vocalist, rebellious rascal, undisputed blues fan, and interpreter of all types of music that might make you shiver. With
Gary Barlow shattered the dreams of X-Factor hopeful Misha Bryan by telling her she won’t win the X-Factor because of wrongful bullying allegations made by his fellow judges. And much has be written suggesting that Misha cannot win the competition because she’s too Black, while others have pointed out that Black contestants have won in the past. But is there a difference between then and now?
If things had gone to plan, Ephraim Lewis would have been a household name. Music execs spent millions trying to turn the boy from Wolverhampton into the British Michael Jackson. Then in 1994, Ephraim jumped from a balcony in Los Angeles. The secrets of his brief, troubled life only emerging a year after his death.
America may have its Spike Lee, Toni Morrison, Tyler Perry, Oprah Winfrey or Danny Glover, to name a few, but the recent success of British films at the box-office has brought with it no significant or corresponding improvement in the profile or fortunes of our black writers, actors and movie makers.
Using his pioneering music (a blend of jazz, funk and African rhythm and harmonies), FELA! explores Kuti’s controversial life as artist, political activist and revolutionary musician.