Tony Allen

Born 12 August 1940.

Nigerian-born drummer and composer

Tony Allen


Tony Oladipo Allen (born 1940 in Lagos, Nigeria) is a Nigerian drummer, composer and songwriter who currently lives and works in Paris. His career and life story have been documented in his 2013 autobiography Tony Allen: Master Drummer of Afrobeat, co-written with author/musician Michael E. Veal who previously wrote a comprehensive biography of Fela Kuti.

As drummer and musical director of Fela Anikulapo Kuti's band Africa 70 from 1968 to 1979, Allen was one of the primary co-founders of the genre of Afrobeat music. Fela once stated that, "without Tony Allen, there would be no Afrobeat." He has also been described by Brian Eno as "perhaps the greatest drummer who has ever lived."

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Links & Information

BBC Reviews

  1. Review of Secret Agent

    Secret Agent 2009

    Reviewed by Jon Lusk
    It’s business as usual and business, as usual, is pretty damn good.
  2. Review of Eager Hands And Restless Feet: Best Of

    Eager Hands And Restless Feet: Best Of 2006

    Reviewed by John Armstrong
    Collection of afrobeat masterdrummer's solo recordings. Rare and funky.
  3. Review of Lagos No Shaking

    Lagos No Shaking 2006

    Reviewed by Martin Longley
    Manages to harness the rugged grit of Lagos, whilst simultaneously presenting Allen's...
  4. Review of Home Cooking

    Home Cooking

    Reviewed by John Armstrong
    Master Nigerian drummer and Afrobeat powerhouse returns with new album of diverse styles.
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