Knitting Factory Records artist Femi Kuti has been nominated for the Best World Music Album Grammy Award for his most recent album, Africa for Africa, which was released to massive acclaim early this year. This is Kuti‘s second nomination in the category, following one for his previous album, 2009’s Day by Day (also on Knitting Factory Records). The 54th Grammy Awards will be broadcast by CBS on February 12, 2012 at 8:00 P.M. ET/PT.
The nomination concludes a banner year for Kuti. Africa for Africa and the tour supporting it have earned much critical praise. A profile in The Los Angeles Times said, “Kuti continues his family’s fight with the same stubborn exuberance as his father,” a compliment echoed by The New York Times, which called Femi “an apt and admirable flame-keeper.” A review from NPR’s “All Things Considered” said, “The songs are bracingly efficient and relentless in their call for Africans to reject failed leaders and find African solutions to their problems.” London’s The Times calls Africa for Africa, “a thrilling dash from first to last” and Femi‘s “finest outing.”
Africa for Africa is in several ways a return to Femi‘s roots. He recorded it in the same studio, Afrodisia/Decca in Lagos, Nigeria, where he produced his first recordings with his father and his breakthrough solo album, No Cause for Alarm? This recording is deliberately less produced than its predecessor, Day by Day; Africa for Africa aims to present Afrobeat in its rough, purest form.
Femi, who has always performed music that is socially conscious, has become a true African Ambassador. He continues to develop his activist voice on the new album, with lyrics that address government oppression and other modern problems in Africa.