The fad among most young Africans at the moment is a craze for foreign music and with sometimes lyrics that bear no resemblance to their African environment.
Femi Stephen Band is changing this narrative especially among the Yoruba speaking young people of Western Africa. Nigeria, Togo and the Republic of Benin who have all experienced the heavy percussion filled performances of the Femi Stephen Band with traditional membranophones and idiophones. The June 12 Stadium, on this particular day, was filled with individuals, all struggling to catch a view of various bands, as they performed at the African Drums Festival held on the 21st April, 2017 to celebrate Africa’s rich culture of percussion instruments. The Femi Stephen Band’s performance was led by Femi Stephen and supported by various Yoruba traditional percussion instruments like the talking drum, omele, agidigbo, gangan, bata and other African traditional percussion instruments. The Yorubas truly talk with drums especially because of the tri-tonal nature of the language. The Femi Stephen Band displayed this to the ecstatic applause of the audience. African traditional values of peace, dignity of labor, and love were emphasized using biblical stories as the audience follow in a sing-along style. Femi Stephen and his band are changing the way the African traditional gospel music is being received among young Africans especially the Yoruba speaking populace. In attendance were governors of Ogun, Bayelsa states, prominent traditional rulers including the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, and other Yoruba monarchs. Also at the event was the Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, Deputy Head of Mission, Cuban Embassy, Ledis Bernal Suarez and Ms Regina Hills who represented the Mayor of Dallas.