First published in 2009, the book ‘Fela: Kalakuta Notes’ has received a fresh release. Written by journalist and musician John Collins who spent time with the afrobeat maestro in the seventies, the book is republished by Wesleyan University Press. (It was initially released by KIT Publishers.)
Collins, who had a role in Fela’s film Black President, is a contributor to Music in Africa and has written a number of books on West African music and the Ghanaian music scene in particular. Collins, originally from the UK, has lived in Ghana since 1952 and is currently professor of popular music at the University of Ghana, Legon.
Parts of Kalakuta Notes are composed of diary notes written by Collins during his time with Fela. Other sections of the book provide a discussion of Fela’s music, the West African music scene at the time, and interviews with former band members and associates of Fela.
According to the book’s publishers: “Collins has expanded the original introduction by providing needed context for popular music in Africa in the 1960s and the influences on the artist’s music and politics. In a new concluding chapter, Collins reflects on the legacy of Fela: the spread of Afrobeat, Fela’s musical children, Fela’s Shrine and Kalakuta House, and the annual Felabration.”
The book also features “a new foreword by Banning Eyre [senior editor at Afropop], an up-to-date discography...a timeline, historical photographs, and snapshots by the author.”
For more information see here.