||“I don't believe in the drummer who sits down and puts his whole body into the beat. It's not my body that plays the drums, it's my arms and my legs. I use my wrists. The rest of me needs to be quite still for concentration."
In the mid-60’s, Tony Allen and the "Black President" Fela Kuti invented a modern voodoo style, a radical new funky sound they called Afrobeat. Fusions between the power of American funk with the subtle cross-rhythms of African High-life.
Forming Africa 70 in 1969, Tony and Fela began reaching out to an international audience, especially during their 1969 US tour where they met the high priests of Black American music of the time (James Brown, Art Blakey, Max Roach...)
Ten years after, Fela Kuti and Tony Allen were on the crest of the Africa 70 wave of celebrity and notoriety, swept onwards by Fela’s political anthems and Afrobeat form, with Tony’s inimitable afro-jazzy powerhouse.
Tony moved on from Fela in 1977, once again in search of his own sound. Fela had to find 4 drummers, one man just couldn’t replace Tony on an all night set!
The first solo album he recorded is compelling, the “No Discrimination” album. He then released his own Afrobeat gem “NEPA”, with it’s JuJu influences. Following that he produced the dance influenced “Afrobeat Express album.
The ’90’s saw him working on the dub soaked, future Afrobeat of the Black Voices album, produced by Doctor L, incendiary DJ and pillar of the Parisian Electronica elite. Tony then gave us the deconstructed jazzy Afrobeat of Psycho On Da Bus.
Finally Home Cooking was produced in 2002. The album was produced by Unsung Heroes and their rapper of choice Ty, a new genre has been created …Afrohop…A real mix between Afrobeat and London hiphop that hadn’t really been done before on record.’