Thursday 1 June 2023

Fela and African American singer, Sandra Izsadore

Sandra Izsadore is a singer composer who during the early 1970’s met and revitalized Africa’s revolutionary genius FELA ANIKULAPO-KUTI. Upon meeting Sandra, Fela’s musical and political ideas changed radically, thus Afro-Beat was born. Sandra is the only featured vocalist on Fela’s music. The song Upside Down, which was a hit in 1977, up to today is considered a classic of Afro-Beat music. It is through her single-handed influence as a midwife for this genre. Sandra Izsadore is called The Mother of Afro-Beat.

Fela met Sandra Izsadore in California during a ten-month US tour with Koola Lobitos in 1969. Izsadore, a Black-rights activist, introduced him to the writings of Malcolm X, Angela Davis, H. Rap Brown, Stokely Carmichael, Huey Newton, Frantz Fanon and other revolutionary thinkers. Fela credits her with helping inspire his philosophy of Blackism. She recorded the hit protest song, “Upside Down” in 1977 and has been a subject of several biographies and biopics. She was a subject in the Tony award-winning Broadway Musical, FELA!

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