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HomeNewsIdris Elba to curate Fela box set

Idris Elba to curate Fela box set

The news arrives on the heels of the week-long Felabration festival event held from 9 to 15 October, and the release of a new short documentary titled Fela Kuti The Legacy on YouTube.

Fela, who passed away in 1997, is behind era-defining albums and is arguably Africa’s most celebrated musical figure. He is widely revered for his distinctive blend of jazz, funk, Ghanaian highlife, psychedelic rock and traditional West African chants and rhythms. Fela was a fearless iconoclast and a staunch pan-Africanist. His legacy continues to have a global impact, influencing not only music but also leaving its mark on literature and theatre.

The box sets will be sold in a limited run of 5 000 copies as Fela Kuti Box Set #6. This volume features classic records including ‘Open & Close’, ‘Music of Many Colours’, ‘Stalemate’, ‘I Go Shout Plenty!!!’, ‘Live In Amsterdam’ and ‘Opposite People’.

It reproduces the artwork of each album from the original vinyl pressings, complete with the vintage vinyl label designs. Additionally, it includes a 24-page booklet with lyrics and insightful commentaries on each record provided by renowned Afrobeat historian Chris May. This booklet also features never-before-seen photos and an introduction written by Idris Elba. Each set is accompanied by a special 16″x24″ poster designed by Lemi Ghariokwu, the creative mind behind many of Fela’s iconic album covers.

Idris Elba, with roots in Sierra Leone and Ghana, has gained fame for his notable portrayals, including his depiction of Nelson Mandela in the biographical film Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, his role as Stringer Bell in the HBO series The Wire, and his portrayal of DCI John Luther in the BBC One series Luther, which earned him a Screen Actors Guild award for Best Actor.

Previous Fela box sets have been curated by the Afrobeat legend’s scion Femi Kuti, Coldplay’s Chris Martin, Erykah Badu, Ginger Baker, Brian Eno and Questlove.

Fans can pre-order the box set here.