Biodun Kuti

OneBeat 2013 Fellow

Guitarist

Lagos, Nigeria

Biodun Kuti grabbed the guitar at the early age of fifteen and started playing in churches, with his father’s band, and other local bands in Lagos, Nigeria. Descended from an ancestral lineage of Yoruba musicians, Biodun’s childhood was bound with Juju, Highlife and traditional drumming. “I grew up in a house in Lagos where you could find guitars in every corner of the house, and all of my brothers are musicians as well,” says Biodun. “My grandfather was the chief of the village of Ifewara – right next to Ife (in the state of Osun) which is believed to be the cradle of the Yoruba people. His house was filled with a hundred different traditional Yoruba percussions. So it was that I was brought up in both traditional and modern Yoruba music, finding a fluid style of guitar playing inflected with jazz and funk elements.”