Kayode Kuti is a bassist who hails from an ancestral lineage of Yoruba musicians. In his childhood, his grandfather taught him the ancestral rhythms of his Yoruba culture through playing the Gudugudu, a highly spiritual drum. Picking up the bass at thirteen, Kayode started playing among several gospel choirs of Lagos and quickly took to the swaggering hypnotic rhythms of Yoruban Juju and Highlife music. At 20 years old, he was asked to join the legendary Egypt 80 band, formed by Nigerian Afrobeat superstar Fela Kuti. Kayode spent three years touring the world with this band under the care of Seun Kuti, and earned the experience to match his innate gifts. Distinguished for his impregnable rhythms, he decided to strike out on his own in pursuing his own musical directions. Kayode has had the opportunity to play with musicians across the world, perform extensively across Europe, and collaborate in genres as varied as West African-Spanish fusion, Cuban hip hop, and Maghrebi Jazz.
Kayode’s rich compositions layer colorful rhythmic lines of percussion and bass alongside vibrant guitar, keyboard, vocal and brass lines. Deeply inspired by his environment, Kayode transposes landscapes, atmospheres, languages and energies into rhythms that converse with each other. While his music takes roots in the Yoruba ancestral rhythms, his compositions are pigmented by all the musical genres he encountered though his travels across the globe. Listening to Kayode’s compositions is like contemplating the giant and effervescent city of Lagos from a rooftop, watching nationalities, ethnicities, languages, and religions collide and coexist. His lyrics are inspired by the Yoruba oral tradition, philosophy, and cosmology as well as the hardships he has faced throughout his life within a highly unequal society and his experiences and encounters with people around the world.