We were absolutely gutted to hear about Tony Allen’s passing. Ben Davis wrote a lovely post post (see below) and dedicated a Paper Wave Radio Show to him. There are interviews, his influences, knockout music and the finest drumming the world has ever heard.
It was with a heavy heart that I learned of Tony Allen‘s passing. He has long been one of my musical heroes and its interesting how upset you can feel about somebody you never met. As I write this, I’m looking at a picture of him right next to my desk that has been up for many years as a creative and musical guiding light. Only this morning his brilliant new album dropped through my letterbox.
We approached his management to make a film of his life four years ago and shook hands on it in Paris, which was one of the most exciting days of my life. Unfortunately it never happened but as we developed and researched the project, my admiration for him just kept growing. How many people can claim to have invented a musical genre?
Through post-colonial Africa, Fela, lost years in Europe and the late blooming of creativity pushing musical boundaries, it is an incredible life and career. Just in the last 5 years he has been involved in projects that touched on techno, dub, jazz, hip hop (the list goes on) and all alchemised by his afromagic. I managed to see him live a couple of times and he blew me away on each occasion. Read “Tony Allen : An Autobiography of the Master Drummer of Afrobeat” for the whole, incredible story.
He will be looked back on, rightly as one of the greats.
A huge loss for music.
RIP Tony Allen