HARUNA ISHOLA & HIS GROUP, Won Nse Ko Baje, 1962Posted: December 3, 2009
Haruna Ishola was one of the most notable players of Apala music. First developed in the 1930s and 1940s amongst the Yoruba people of Nigeria, Apala was originally purely religious music, used to rouse those who had fasted during the holy month of Ramadan. Later, during the 1960s, the style became less religiously based, took some influence from Afro-Cuban percussion music, and became increasingly popular as professional groups began playing and recording Apala music. The genre would become one of the main precursors to the Fuji music of the 1970s.
Apala music takes little influence from Western music, featuring no Western instruments and players who remain seated during performance. The main instruments are omele talking drums, the sekere rattle, the agogo bell and finally the agidigbo, a thumb piano generally played by the lead singer.
Some heavy drumming on these songs…