In celebrating the life and times of legendary Afro Juju beat inventor Fela Anikulapo Kuti, not only a part of his legacy- the musical styling and life- was recently immortalized by the opening of the Kalakuta museum by The Lagos State Government, Nigeria, but a Nigerian Act, Joseph Jones has also given interpretation to the rhythms of Fela’s saxophone.
Baba 70′ as Fela was fondly called, presented a huge figure in his time and even after his death, his legacy lives in the modern Nigeria entertainment culture. In his several piece of AFRO BEAT Musical works, it is believed by a school of thought that there are secret messages encoded in the rhythms of Fela’s saxophones, as he was a ‘highly spiritual’ man. Those messages which he could not speak in words nor represent in the lines of his lyrics were encoded in the rhythms of his saxophone.
In an attempt to interpret the encoded messages, like the biblical Joseph the dream interpreter, Joseph Jones from ‘Planet Jonzing’, Nigerian Act and South African Returnee, has taken five minutes and a few seconds to interpret the secret messages encoded in the rhythms of the saxophone on one of the songs in Baba Fela’s ZOMBIE Album.
The Interpreted version titled “WHAT YOU GoNNA DO” is described as a FELABRATION SONG and according to the artiste, it is dedicated to the KALAKUTA and the KALAKUTA MUSEUM, including all Afro Beat music fans plus South African and other tourists who find pleasure and relaxation at the Kalakuta Museum or New Afrikan Shrine Lagos, Nigeria. The interpreted version serves as alternative teacher for other Africans or foreigners and people who enjoy the AFRO BEAT Music Genre but may not understand completely the Yoruba and pidgin English lyrics used by Baba Fela.
The song title “What you Gonna Do’ may sound contrary to the African way of such expression, but this shows that the modern Nigeria Entertainer,including this South African returnee Joseph Jones has assimilated or blended into other culture as a result of continuous social interaction between the Culture. The style of wordings in this music marks a new dimension in Afro Beat music; if you do not sing on the instrumentation, you can chant it and it is called the ‘Afro Beat Chanting’, said the Artiste Joseph Jones.
In Nigerian Music today, there has never been a style as this new Joseph Jones’ AFR o BEAT CHANT, he has put a ‘C’ for ‘CHANT’ on the A-B for Afro Beat; someone is yet to match this record and that someone must be ‘JONZING’. The artiste has seeks permission from Baba Fela Kuti’s Management to make a video of this new Afro Beat Chant.
Baba Fela’s Zombie LP was a metaphor to describe the methods of the Nigerian military, it was a smash hit but it infuriated the Military government. The attempt by Joseph Jones to interpret the encoded messages has put into consideration the mood, the life and the times of the people during that Military Regime in Nigeria. You would hear behind the lead vocal what the Artiste calls the ‘BUSH CRY’. It signifies the joy in pains and the tribulations of the people.
With this piece of music, It asks both African and non African, ‘What you Gonna Do’ with the AfroBeatChant?..