Lenny Kravitz Takes On Role Of Executive Producer For Seun Kuti And Egypt 80’s New Album

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Lenny Kravitz has gotten the sax, as the Rock music icon is stationed as the executive producer of the forthcoming album by Seun Kuti and Egypt 80.

On Monday (June 3), the official Facebook account of Afrobeat powerhouse Seun Kuti announced the spellbinding collaboration between Kuti’s Egypt 80 band and Lenny Kravitz, with the “Fly Away” artist set to executive produce their upcoming album. The announcement also revealed that Sodi Marciszewer, the original producer and engineer of Fela Kuti, will contribute to the project as well.

Seun Kuti and Egypt 80’s new album, due for release on October 4, will be issued by the Italian label Record Kicks, with whom the collective has recently signed.

“As long-time fans of Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti and the whole Kuti family, we’re honoured to announce that SEUN KUTI & EGYPT 80 have joined Record Kicks’ roster,” the Milan based label announced on their website.

On Monday, Kuti shared a joint Instagram post with Record Kicks, showing Kuti, Kravitz, and Marciszewer deeply engaged in a trancelike studio session. Percussions and the saxophone swirl in the funkiest harmony. “Aw yeah,” Kravitz comments to Kuti as they nod to the mesmerizing melody. Kravitz then turns to Marciszewer, requesting a modification, to which Marciszewer responds with an assuring gesture.

Seun, the youngest son of Afrobeat pioneer and Nigerian cultural luminary Fela Anikulapo Kuti, has passionately maintained his father’s legacy. Fela’s music, while dance-inducing, also served to challenge Africans intellectually with its unique melodies and sharp lyrics that tackled modern issues in Nigeria, such as multinational capitalism, the acceptance of European cultural values by the bourgeois class, and the corruption of military rulers.

At the tender age of 14, Seun Kuti assumed leadership of Fela’s longest-running band, Egypt 80, following the passing of the ‘Teacher Don’t Teach Me Nonsense” activist in 1997. Seun made his professional debut in 2008 with the self-titled album Seun Kuti & Fela’s Egypt 80, which includes the notable singles “Think Africa” and “Many Things.”

Kuti proceeded to release two additional albums under Knitting Factory Records, From Africa With Fury: Rise (2011) and A Long Way to the Beginning (2014). His fourth studio album, Black Times, earned Kuti his first Grammy nomination for Best World Music Album at the 61st Grammy Awards.

Kuti, who is no stranger to hip-hop, joined Black Thought on Common’s Afrobeat-infused 2021 single, “When We Move.” The following year, Kuti and The Roots’ head lyricist released a collaborative effort titled African Dreams, a work that pays homage to his motto of unity within the core African diaspora.

Six years after his last release, Lenny Kravitz marked his return in 2024 with Blue Electric Light, his twelfth solo album that showcases his musical supremacy. Featuring only Kravitz with no collaborations, the album has produced three hit singles including, “TK241,” “Human,” and “Paralyzed.”

In March, his storied career was celebrated with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Most recently, last Saturday (June 1), Kravitz shook up London with a thrilling performance at the Champions League final held in London’s Wembley Stadium.

The title of the Lenny Kravitz-executively produced Kuti album has yet to be revealed. However, aficionados of this profound fusion are eagerly awaiting the project’s moniker. Starting in Vermont on Saturday, June 8, Seun Kuti and Egypt 80 will kick off their North American tour, which includes visits to Los Angeles, Brooklyn, Denver, Chicago, Detroit, and other cities.

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