Tony Allen died aged 79 of an aortic aneurysm on April 30. He of course was a co-creator of Afrobeat, the fusion of funk, jazz, and African styles that he produced in Nigeria in partnership with Fela Kuti in the late ’60s and ’70s.
Animated downtempo quartet Gorillaz featured Tony on their latest track “How Far,” taken from their new album Song Machine, and it is our Song of the Day.
“How Far?,” featuring Tony Allen and Skepta, is the most recent collaboration by Damon Albarn and Tony in a long-running musical relationship and close personal friendship of many years. The track was written and recorded with Skepta in London just before lockdown and is being shared immediately as a tribute to the spirit of a great man, Tony Allen.
“I want to take care of youngsters, they have messages and I want to bring them on my beat.” — Tony Allen
Stream “How Far” by Gorillaz featuring Tony Allen and Skepta on Spotify:
The track was written and recorded with Skepta in London just before lockdown and is being shared immediately as a tribute to the spirit of a great man, Tony Allen, the band said in a press release.
Earlier this year, Tony told The Guardian that Damon was “like family – I love him.” They teamed to form the side project the Good, the Bad & the Queen, which released albums in 2007 and 2018.