Apala: Apala Groups in Nigeria 1967 – 70 by Soul Jazz Records presents



Soul Jazz Records new ‘Apala: Apala Groups in Nigeria 1964-69’ is the first ever collection of Apala music to be released outside of Nigeria.
The album focusses on a wide selection of recordings made in Nigeria in the 1960s, a time when Apala music was at the height of its popularity. Apala is a deeply rhythmical, hypnotic and powerful musical style that combines the striking nasal-style vocals and traditions of Islamic music, the Agidigbo (thumb piano), and the equally powerful drumming and percussion rhythms and techniques of the Yoruba of Nigeria.
The most significant figure in Apala music is undoubtedly Haruna Ishola who features throughout this album. Ishola holds an almost mythological status in his role as populariser of Apala music in Nigeria. Ishola’s singing was believed to be so powerful that, without proper restraint, it could kill the recipient of his music.
Apala is a popular music that also functioned as a form of cultural resistance – Apala music involved no western instrumentation and is sung in the Yoruba language, its aesthetic an implicit cultural rejection of the British Empire’s colonial rule over Nigeria which lasted from 1901 until independence in 1960.
Apala music was popular and widely accepted in Nigeria due to its philosophical and profound lyrical content alongside the complex rhythmic patterns of this heavily percussive style, which highlighted many of the percussion instruments of south-west Nigeria.
Apala is one of a number of popular urban styles of music that came out of Nigeria in the 20th century and sits alongside the more well-known (in the West) styles of Fuji, Highlife, Juju and Afrobeat. Of these modern forms Apala remains perhaps the most ‘roots’ style (sometimes described as ‘neo-traditional’) due to the authenticity of its sound. It has similar Islamic roots to other neo-traditional styles of Nigeria – including Waka and Sakara – examples of which are also included on this collection contextualising the music of Apala.
These recordings were originally made and released locally by Decca and EMI Records as well as a variety of independent labels in Nigeria and have never been released outside of the country before. Soul Jazz Records are releasing this album as a deluxe double gatefold vinyl (+ download code) containing full text and photography.

NoTrack NameArtist
1Haruna Ishola and His Apala Group - Ewure Ile Komoyi OdeSoul Jazz Records presents
2Adebukonla Ajao and Her Group - Aboyin IleSoul Jazz Records presents
3Rapheal Ajide and His Apala Group - Adura Fun OsiwowoSoul Jazz Records presents
4Haruna Ishola and His Apala Group - Orin To Mo Gbon WaSoul Jazz Records presents
5R.A. Tikalosoro and His Group - Agilinti LomuSoul Jazz Records presents
6Adebukonla Ajao and Her Group - A.B.D. AlawiyeSoul Jazz Records presents
7Haruna Ishola and His Apala Group - Asa Ko Gbodo Wole GbeiyeleSoul Jazz Records presents
8Adeleke Aremu & His Group - Egbe ArowoloSoul Jazz Records presents
9Haruna Ishola and His Apala Group - Rufai BaolgunSoul Jazz Records presents
10R.A. Tikalosoro and His Group - Kiniun Kuro Leran Amu SereSoul Jazz Records presents
11Haruna Ishola and His Apala Group - S. AkaSoul Jazz Records presents
12Adebukonla Ajao and Her Group - Lekele BaleSoul Jazz Records presents
13Kasumu Adio and His Apala Group - Odale OreSoul Jazz Records presents
14Ayisatu Alabi and Her Group - Oko LolomoSoul Jazz Records presents
15Jimoh Agbejo Bo Ogun and His Group - Oriki IbejiSoul Jazz Records presents
16Ayisatu Alabi and Her Group - Omo OlobiSoul Jazz Records presents
17Rapheal Ajide and His Apala Group - Orin AjeSoul Jazz Records presents
18Adebukonla Ajao and Her Group - Sunday BabayemiSoul Jazz Records presents