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, influenced by Cuban music and eventually became quite popular 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.

Haruna Ishola was a notable performer of apala who popularized the genre. It is distinct from, older than, and more difficult to master than fuji music.[citation needed] Although fuji music remains the most important form of traditional music amongst Yorubas in Nigeria, apala is still very popular amongst Muslims of the Yoruba tribe.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Africa, Europe and the Middle East. Rough Guides. 1999. p. 43. ISBN 1-85828-635-2.