Adewale Ayuba

Decades: 1990s


Nigeria. One of the rising stars of Nigerian fuji, Ayuba made his domestic debut in 1991 with Bubble, and was immediately rewarded with the accolade ‘fuji artist of the year’. Using the talking drum, shekeres (rattles), bells and bata drums, Ayuba led his band through call-and-response singing and a highly animated ‘wailing’ style, with lyrics rooted in his conversion to the Muslim faith. The strength of the music, which is deliberately shorn of harmonic properties, lies in the propulsive rhythms created, and the intensity of the performances. Bubble was followed shortly by another collection, Mr Johnson Play For Me, performed with similar combative qualities though with a more readily detectable sparsity of sound, which distinguishes fuji from its parent music, juju (Mr Johnson Play For Me was released prior to his debut album on the international market).

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