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Fun Facts about Nigerian Music

Nigeria has diverse genres of music and we love to learn about them at Ajapaworld. Here are some fun facts we gathered about the Nigerian music.

  • Highlife is very popular in Nigeria. But it actually originated in Ghana at the turn of the 20th century. Highlife is characterised by jazzy horns and multiple guitars which lead the band
  • Apala is a style of vocal and percussive Muslim Yoruba music. It emerged in the late 1930s as a means of rousing worshippers after the fasting of Ramadan. Under the influence of popular Afro‐Cuban percussion, apala developed into a more polished style and attracted a large audience. The music required two or three talking drums (omele), a rattle (sekere), thumb piano (agidigbo) and a bell (agogo).
  • The late 1960s saw the appearance of the first fuji bands. Fuji was a synthesis of apala with the “ornamented, free‐rhythmic” vocals of ajisari devotional musicians and was accompanied by the sakara, a tambourine‐drum, and Hawaiian guitar.
  • Afro beat is a style most closely associated with Nigeria. It is a fusion of American funk music with elements of highlife, jazz and other styles of West African music. The most popular and well‐known performer, indeed the most famous Nigerian musician in history, is undoubtedly Fela Kuti.
  • Hip hop music was brought to Nigeria in the late 1980s, and grew steadily popular throughout the first part of the 1990s. In the past few years, Hip‐Hop has made a huge leap forward in terms of exposure and the success of its musicians.

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