FELA is a new and revolutionary Toronto-based production company that specializes in the creation of cutting edge music videos, commercials, branded content, documentaries and films. Founded by Taj Critchlow and Julien Christian Lutz (professionally known as Director X) FELA emerged after their realization of the need for ownership while at their previous company Popp Rok — known for productions such as Drake’s “God’s Plan” and “Nice For What” and Rosalia’s “Con Altura.”
The executive team is now expanding with director/actress Karena Evans as Creative Executive Producer. Evans recently directed the pilot of the highly acclaimed Starz series P-Valley as well as an episode of FX’s Snowfall.
In addition to continuing their legacy of content creation, FELA has adopted a new mission statement: to fight for a diverse and inclusive Canadian media industry. This is not limited to ensuring proper diversity solely on the screen. Their goal is to improve BIPOC representation across multiple aspects of the industry, both on and off the camera.
FELA’s mantra is: Own Your Culture, Tell Your Stories. The company continually looks to curate a roster of talent who can each bring a unique perspective and skillset to the table. Currently, it’s artists are 50% BIPOC, 38% female-identifying and 33% Black.
The brand is named after the renowned Nigerian musician and activist Fela Kuti. Kuti is credited with the creation of Afrobeat music, however it is his dedication to activism and social consciousness that has made him a highly respected international figure. Kuti remained an outspoken critic of corrupt governments, police brutality, and the massive scars left by colonialism throughout Africa. His philosophy of using art as a weapon to disrupt the status quo and push for change is what inspired the company FELA, existing as one of the pillars of the organization. Its focus is to provide a voice for the unheard and underrepresented.
FELA’s film, Underplayed, is an official selection of this year’s Toronto International Film Festival. Director Stacey Lee’s debut feature-length documentary confronts the lack of diversity and inclusion in the Electronic Music industry. While the Electronic Music industry was one born from the ideals of diversity, community and inclusivity, in 2019 only 5 of DJ Mag’s influential list of top 100 DJs were women. Underplayed, executive produced by Julien Christian Lutz, Taj Critchlow and Budlight,was predominantly led by a female production team and was filmed throughout the summer festival season, providing an in-depth look at the current status of gender, ethnic and sexual equality issues that permeate the Electronic Music scene.
The film is presented through the lens of female pioneers, next-generation artists and industry leaders who are championing the change while inspiring a more diverse pool of role models for future generations. Ultimately the film explores how gender disparity happens and the steps that must be taken to fix it. The core themes of Underplayed align with FELA’s mandate and its vision for the future of the industries it exists within: film, music and advertising.
For more information about FELA, please visit at www.FELA.tv