July 19, 2024

Wura Samba: Untapped African music gold

  • June 26, 2024
  • 3 min read
Wura Samba: Untapped African music gold

By Bimbo Esho

JUST like the proverbial rat race, the Nigerian music industry, like a rudderless ship, is yet to identify the authentic African sound to follow. Some musicians in recent times have not been able to give a proper definition to their brand of music. In a country where anything goes and music critics are fast losing relevance, any fast tempo, danceable and sweet, rhythmic song is seen as authentic African sound.

Some music promoters and corporate brands continuously and shamelessly promote music that lacks content and context. The murder of all has been the advent of social media that now gives room for every Tom, Dick and Harry that should not have anything to do with music to throw in our faces and ears music that lacks form, thereby causing cancerous tumor in our ears.

One should wonder why a musician like Wura Samba, an Afro drumming and percussion band that brings an electrifying vibration to African sound, is yet to gain relevance in our society. The band performs contemporary Africa music using expired modernised Sambabe, an 8-piece traditional square wooden percussion instruments with influences mainly from the Yoruba culture of West Africa.

Wura Samba’s essemble uses wooden percussion instruments, talking drums, bata drums, sekere, dundun drums, agogo, tap drums, and his songs present lyrics in Yoruba, English or a blend of the two as colloquially spoken in Nigerian cities. His new song Onala is a fusion of traditional Africa folk and modern use of classical and Yoruba traditional percussion Instruments. Some of his other songs dwell on social issues, while others simply entertain.

Having worked professionally in the Nigerian music industry for over 15 years, the multi-talented artiste and percussionist, Abiodun Oke, professionally known as Wura Samba, is no stranger to a wide range of events across Africa, Europe and Middle East. He has performed at major concerts and festivals around the globe. Wura who went on different European tours alongside Keziah Jones, and performed in France, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland and Tunisia in 2011 and 2013.

The dexterity of his ensemble creates a rich and evolving repertoire, full of African beats that will intrigue the ears of many. Wura Samba band members are culturally West African, but do an incredible job of connecting Western audiences with a modern yet traditional African experience.

In a country gradually drifting away from its musical originality, what more can we ask for if not GOLD (WURA) Abiodun Wura Samba Oke!

* Esho is the curator of Evergreen Music Company

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