Today’s post shines a light on one of my most precious Tokyo finds, an album by Queen Salawa Abeni,  from Lagos, Nigeria.

I really became quite enchanted with the strong voice and the hypnotic rhythms  accompanying the singer. The grooves -with talking drums- are mesmerizing, while the voice holds strong within all the surrounding drums. The tracks are indexed but were played and recorded as a 17 minute jam as this rare record shows.

The music is dedicated to the memory of Alhaji Haruna Ishola, the King of Apala Music who died at the age of 65 years on 9th November 1983.

She was crowned “Queen of Waka Music” by the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi in 1992. Waka is an Islamic-influenced, traditional Yoruba music style. Salawa Abeni (born May 5, 1961) is a popular Nigerian singer who became the first female artist to sell over a million copies in Nigeria. Quite an achievement, really.

 Queen Salawa Abeni & Her African Waka Modernisers. Volume 14 on Leader Records LRCLS 44 Nigeria.

Side 1 

Jomi Jomi


National Ladies Club

Late Alhaji Haruna Ishola

Side 2 


United Social Club

Mo Gbe De

Morufu Akilo

Iyo Yo


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