Global Fusion Playlist: SECRET AGENT: Getting To Know Tony Allen’s AfroBeat

If you call yourself a fan of Fela Kuti & Afrobeat & don’t know about Tony Allen, then  pay close attention because you are literally faking the Afrobeat funk & need some education.

Tony Allen, former drummer and musical director of Fela Anikulapo Kuti’s band Africa 70 from 1968 to 1979 is just as much credited for creating & bringing Afrobeat to the world as Fela is. Tony Oladipo Allen is Nigeria’s native son, who brought the world to know Nigeria /Africa beyond  save the children infomercials, old school national geographic images, stereotypes, corruption & global scandals by showcasing the greatness of  Nigeria/Africa’s musical culture. Tony Allen is known to the music world as one of the greatest drummers of all time. As Fela once said “without Tony Allen, there would be no Afrobeat.”

Born in Lagos, Nigeria to Ghanaian & Nigerian parents, Tony Allen currently makes his home in Paris, France holding the mantle & legacy of Afrobeat up high by continuing to create great music with his latest release & documentary entitled  “Secret Agent “. Tony Allen will be blessing the world of drum & Afrobeat enthusiasts with his upcoming autobiography “Tony Allen: Master Drummer of Afrobeat“, written in conjunction with author/musician Michael E. Veal, who also wrote a biography on Fela Kuti.

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Tony Allen is revered in the global music world, from the rock group Talking Heads, to the hip-hop samplings of J.Dilla, to his new collborative project entitled The Good, The Bad and The Queen with Damon Albarn (Blur, Gorillazz), Paul Simonon (bassist for The Clash), Simon Tong (guitarist for The Verve), and Brian “Danger Mouse” Burton ( producer for Gorillaz, Danger Doom, Gnarls Barkley, etc ) for the new supergroup… READ MORE

Tony Allen taught himself to play by listening to records made by the American jazz drummers Art Blakey and Max Roach. He began working as a professional musician in 1960, gigging around Lagos and variously playing highlife and jazz. Today living in Paris, Allen has long been acknowledged as Africa’s finest kit drummer and one of it’s most influential musicians, the man who with Fela Anikulapo Kuti created Afrobeat—the hard driving, James Brown funk-infused, and politically engaged style that became such a dominant force in African music and whose influence continues to spread today…” READ MORE