Afrobeat,Amapiano,Ghana,Guitar,Jazz,Keyboards,Music,Nigeria,saxophone,South Africa,UK

Single Review: “Motherland Journey” – Blue Lab Beats, KillBeatz, Fela Kuti

When this dropped in my email, I was… shocked.

Blue Lab Beats have been on my radar for a very long time, and they’ve made some incredible music. If you don’t believe me go look them up…

This track is no different in fact…. 

They upped their game. 

NKOK (Namali Kwaten) and Mr. DM (David Mrakpor) have only gone and used the vocals of Fela Kuti on this track. For those of you who don’t know he’s one of the founding fathers of afrobeat as we know it, without him it could be argued that the afrobeat artists wouldn’t exist today.

And it’s amazing. 

My sister Justina coined a term a few years ago that I loved, this is ancestral soul as a genre, and it also taps into the relatively new genre amapiano that comes out of South Africa. They put their own unique jazzy twist on it too, with an addictive guitar line, but I have to shout out the horns that are being played here! WOW! Jazzy to the max. I was listening to this on the way home, and I’ve been running it back and forth just to get the vibe.

This was co written and produced with legendary Ghanaian engineer and producer KillBeatz. The estate of Mr. Kuti gave their blessing for this to be released – the track itself is based around the vocals from his song “Everything Scatter”. Shout out to the talents of Poppy Daniels and Kaidi Akinnibi playing those killer horn parts and solos!

So who are Blue Lab Beats?

Well, they’re a duo from London, NKOK and Mr. DM met in the hallways of WAC (Weekends Arts College) where NKOK would bust his beats in the lunch hall, and Mr. DM invited him to come and hang out in a studio – watching Mr. DM play every instrument in the room…. BOOM. It was a match made in heaven.

There is one more detail…..

What is it?

Oh yeah. 

They’re grammy nominated for their work on the Angelique Kidjo album Mother Nature, and have a MOBO nomination for ‘Best Jazz Act’. 


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  1. […] Read my review of “Motherland Journey” here. […]

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