Tag Archives: Fela Kuti

Bill T. Jones

Bill T. Jones was on the Colbert Report talking about his role in the new musical, “Fela!” “Fela!” is a biographical piece on the life of afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti.

Watch the video here:

http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/12/08/fela-and-bill-t-jones-shake-up-the-colbert-report/

-K

Profiles I liiike.

1. Seun Kuti. They don’t obsess over the fact that he’s Fela Kuti’s son, which is appreciated–most articles talk about that more than anything else. The Q&A format is a little informal for my taste but I do like that they ask short questions and let him say what he wants to say. The interviewers ask a variety of questions ranging from history to future plans, and they don’t shy away from asking questions about difficulty or criticism. They also give Seun a platform to talk about what his songs are talking about–a chance to defend himself and provide more of a story about his art and about the situation in Nigeria that affects him and his work.

I also like that the lead paragraph is informative, and the first question they ask gives us insight into 1. the vulnerability and linguistic/factual issues journalists incur and 2. the personality and humor of Seun.

2. Isaac Brock of Modest Mouse/Ugly Casanova. Brock goes into the interview saying he doesn’t like them, yet the journalist presses on and manages to get him to open up and give some great, visceral answers. The interviewer asks some of the best questions I’ve ever read–he really picks Brock’s brain (say that 5 times fast) and asks probing questions that get some raw responses. The interviewer asks about Brock getting in fights, getting accused of rape, band break-ups, and varying opinions about performances. Anyone that has listened to Modest Mouse or Ugly Casanova knows that Brock has issues and he’s not ashamed of them– this interview isn’t pretty, and I like that.

-K