A fusion of West African rhythms, jazz, funk and soul, twenty years on from the disappearance of its shamanic creator, Afrobeat continues to influence hordes of musicians to this day. An inferno of horns and a thick tangle of rhythms: Fela Anikulapo Kuta invented the most thrilling trance of the 70s and 80s.

Twenty years on from his disappearance on 2 August 1997 at the age of 58, Fela Kuti remains one of the most influential musicians of the African continent. A complex figure, the charismatic singer and musician from Nigeria was so much more than just a "West African James Brown". And his musical world was sculpted by all the political, moral and artistic contradictions that he carried with him.

Political engagement was already in the blood of the young Fela Kuti when he was born in 1938. His father was a pastor, who was deeply concerned by the conditions of Nigeria's poor, and his mother was one of the first Nigerian feminists. His parents pushed for their son to become a great doctor and sent him to London to study. But once he had arrived, Fela enrolled himself in the school of... music! Three years later, he formed his first group - Koola Lobitos. Influenced by James Brown, he returned to his country where he criticised the local scene, saying that its content was merely plagiarising Western musicians. Fela wanted to unite his effervescent musical vision with the sounds and rhythms of his ancestors.