FUJI, JUJU AND APALA MUSIC – OGUNLEYE OLUWAKOREDE
These are three close Nigerian genres of music that have found its root in the indigenous practice of the South-Western part of Nigeria. For a long time, there have been controversies over these three distinct sounds. One major thing listeners should understand is that these genres are interwoven basically because of its background alongside the artiste representing these genres. History made it known that these genres were created by Muslim Yorubas. The genres are of a secular nature which enables individuals to make more improvisation. For instance, when the Juju ace musician; King sunny Ade became the first to perform with pedal steel guitar to show more sense of dynamism.
Among them all, Fuji sound has been more eccentric and has easily evolved with a form of fusion with other genre of music. It has been successfully able to mix with other genre with singles like Malaika’s ‘Boshenjo’ with Olamide or even Pasuma’s ‘Ife’ with Tiwa savage. Fuji music for the last two decade has been able to continue its commercial successive run and it has continued to be one of Nigeria’s finest sounds. Ayinde Barrister dubbed his own fuji style with the ‘fuji garbage’ in the 70’s. He sounded more relatable and fun to those outside the Muslim Yoruba culture.
Apala is usually a percussion based style of music from the inception and the Apala sound is usually selective on the kind of musical instrument to be used. It is further believed to have a form of mythical power. A true representation of Apala music is the Haruna Ishola ‘Apala message’. The album is dominantly a form of chant with traditional percussion. The genre is so indigenous that some may even consider it as a Yoruba pop music.
Apala music is swiftly finding its way into modernisation fused with other sounds with young and high potential artiste like Terry Apala, Q dot. Terry apala fusion with Hip hop as being so unique with singles like Modernise, Champagne shower, Palongo. It is so certain that pioneer artiste of Apala sound like Haruna Ishola and other honourable mentions will look down on these youngsters and smile just for upholding the culture.
Basically, so many books and music analyst believe that Juju had a strong background in Afro-Caribbean melody in the early 1900’s. During this period, artistes were not reckoned with in the society and they usually performed in late evening for social gathering. Initially, it was not regarded to as ‘Juju’ but more identified with its dance step (asiko). Early Juju style was created by individuals like Tunde King.
So much is to be said about Juju music but the new generation tend to lose interest in this style of music. Juju is also referred to as ‘JiJi’. There has been less form of dynamism from this genre in recent time and they have produced limited new artiste. In the 60’s -70’s, it was considered a world music and enjoyed great commercial advantage. Most Juju pioneer artistes are considered legends and icons but have they been able to successfully pass their legacy to the next generation?
Juju artistes have made remarkable impact in Nigerian’s music industry. Shina peter’s Ace ‘Afro Juju Series 1(1989) went double platinum and it was the album that shot him into limelight. Juju artistes also had international collaboration from other parts of the world like Stevie Wonders collaboration with King Sunny Ade on ‘Aura’. KSA was also the first African to be nominated twice in Grammys. All these great achievements and few other honourable mentions were turning points in Nigerian pop sound. Most LP (album) delivered by Juju artiste in the era of the 60’s to the 80’s were true definition of African’s creativity in the music culture.
These three musical styles have been formed from a socio-religious background and are able to reach the height of mainstream standard. Will these great genres continue to prove relevant for generations to come? That is for you to decide.
You might say Hell Yea or Say F*#k No. Give your opinion in the comment section below.
socio-economic matters. He has previously released works like album reviews and
content information. He is also a music critic and analyst particularly on
Nigerian music entertainment.