Monday, October 4, 2010

Happy 50 Years of Independence, Nigeria!

This week marks the 50th anniversary of independence for Nigeria. As the most populous country in Africa, Nigeria has vibrant cultural history that is characterized by a rich musical tradition since its formation. Whether it’s traditional Hausa Music, the advanced drumming of Yoruba or the more modern styles like juju, afrobeat, highlife, apala, waka and even hip hop, a large part of Nigeria's young history has been characterized by its music. At Afropop we wish Nigeria a happy 50th anniversary and strongly believe that in the next 50 years, Nigeria will only continue to produce even more exciting and unique music to the world.

In celebration of Nigeria’s independence, we have created a quick list (equipped with links) of some Nigerian artists and styles that we have covered over the years at Afropop Worldwide. By no means is this a definitive list, but we think it’s a good starting point for exploring some of the great music that has come out of Nigeria.


King Sunny Adé
King Sunny Adé - Popular performer of Yoruba Nigerian Jùjú music, a Pioneer of Modern world music and classed as one of the most influential musicians of all time.

Ebenezer ObeyA pioneer and innovator of Nigerian juju music.

Fela Kuti –  Perhaps the bravest and most principled of Africa's great, visionary, 20th century bandleaders.

Femi Kuti - Son of Fela and an excellent artist on his own.

Barrister - A legend of Nigeria's percussion-and-vocal fuji music.

Lágbájá- Afrobeat musician who always wears a mask on stage as an icon of man’s facelessness.

Haruna Ishola - The great popularizer of Nigeria's Yoruba-Muslim music know as apala.

Fela Kuti (center)


Afrobeat - A combination of traditional Yoruba music, jazz, highlife, funk and chanted vocals, fused with percussion and vocal styles, popularized in Africa in the 1970s.

Apala -20th century percussion and voice music of Yoruba Muslims in Nigeria.

Highlife - Dance music played mostly in Ghana and Nigeria, represents one of the century's first fusions of African roots and western music, and before 1970, it ruled dancefloors across much of West Africa.

Juju -For many years the most popular style in Nigeria, juju music evolved from Yoruba folklore and a variety of international elements.

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