Apala (or akpala) is a music genre originally developed by the Yoruba people of Nigeria,[1] during the country's history as a colony of the British Empire. It is a percussion-based style that originated in the late 1930s. The rhythms of apala grew more complex over time, and have influenced the likes of Cuban music, whilst gaining popularity in Nigeria. It has grown less religious centered over time.

Instruments include a rattle (sekere), thumb piano (agidigbo) and a bell (agogô), as well as two or three talking drums.[2]

Ayinla Omowura and Haruna Ishola - amongst others - were notable performers of apala music, these two icons played a major role in popularising the genre. It is distinct from, older than, and more difficult to master than fuji music.[3] Although fuji music remains one of the popular form of traditional music amongst Yorubas in Nigeria, apala is still very popular amongst Muslims of the Yoruba tribe.[4]


  1. ^ Africa, Europe and the Middle East. Rough Guides. 1999. p. 43. ISBN 1-85828-635-2.
  2. ^ Babátúndé Yussuf, N.; Oladipo Olúbòmęhìn, O. (2018-07-03). "Traditional Music and the Expression of Yoruba Socio-cultural Values: A Historical Analysis". Muziki. 15 (2): 61–74. doi:10.1080/18125980.2018.1554980. ISSN 1812-5980. S2CID 218637202.
  3. ^ "INTERVIEW: Why young Nigerian musicians are avoiding Fuji music - KWAM 1 | Premium Times Nigeria". 2022-03-20. Retrieved 2022-06-09.
  4. ^ Music, FujiNaija (2021-01-12). "Origin of Apala Music (Part 2: Conclusion)". FujiNaija. Retrieved 2022-06-09.