Saturday, June 28, 2008

Hausa praise singing

The past few mornings, after the sound of the muezzin, we are woken again by a man singing praises to Alhaji-politician (he lives downstairs) from the other side of the compound gate. The man has a strong voice that carries well. He accompanies himself with a simple three string guitar instrument. A foreigner might imagine he was in a Bamako suburb, whereas the sound is Northern Nigerian. I recorded an excerpt on my dictaphone:


The Pseudo-Independent 10:05 am  

Great music from an itinerant prima dona. Reeking of rapacious strings, it’s sublime. Must have propelled the listener into one of his rapturous moments. I can imagine Alhaji’s rapacious taste for luxury. Good post

Anonymous,  8:42 pm  

Cannot play it - not in Firefox or Internet Explorer

Jeremy 1:35 am  

Oops. Just checked and Google tells me that the download bandwidth for the clip has been exceeded. You've all been trying to play it too much and its given Google a headache. Should come back up shortly inshallah..

Anonymous,  5:07 am  

"Should come back up shortly inshallah"


Anonymous,  1:00 am  

Jeremy since your english abeg can you translate in naija english what the first poster said?

the grammer is too big for me and checking the meaning of the words individually made the sentence senseless.

The Pseudo-Independent 2:15 pm  

Good question anonymous 1:00AM. Why does anything exist than rather nothing? Are you wondering does anything really matter anymore? Does anyone really care? Have you been trying to make sense of today's world?

me,  3:38 pm  

LOL, Anon 1.00am, I don't think even Jeremy can translate the "rapacious" complexity of pseudo-independent's comment :)

The Pseudo-Independent 9:22 pm  

Look here anonymous 3:38 PM, cliches aside, I'm an artist and I paint people's pictures. I'd like to paint you. Could you come and be painted by me sometime? Say you will. Come on.

Anonymous,  12:53 am  

The pseudo-independent's real name is pseudo-intellectual.

Anonymous,  1:00 am  

doesn't play. is it just me?

aronke,  10:37 pm  

nope, not just you. doesn't play on firefox

The Pseudo-Independent 11:10 pm  

I am so glad you have turned up at last anon 12:53 AM. I don't know what's good but I know what I like - not a lot of pseudo-intellectual snobbery. We need a blog tagged self-confidence by Anonymous. Now lets go so I can paint you...

anonymaus,  5:59 pm  

Boy, the sound is really good. It's good to hear in this modern world, where many old things are pushed to one side, that some old ways still endure. I do hope the singer was handsomely rewarded for his efforts.

This is what makes Nigeria interesting, the sheer diversity of humanity

I don't understand Hausa, but was he referring to you at some point in the song? "Oyinbo nagwode" _ I think it means "thank you White man (foreigner)" or something like that.

Anonymous,  7:40 pm  

Jeremy, the foreigner that thinks this is a Bamako suburb obviously fails to understand the nuances of West-African music.

1) The instrument of which you speak is probably the Gurumi, very very common in Hausa land.

2) This song is firmly from the Gurumi genre - consider it the Hausa equivalent of Apala for the Yorubas. I believe there was an Apala/Gurumi collaboration between Musiliu Haruna (BABATUNDE) Ishola (the son, not the father, who passed away) and one Gurumi singer abo9ut three yaers ago. It is from the Musiliu album that came after 'Soyoyo'.

This music is as distinctly Northern Nigerian as juju and apala are Western Nigerian.

Good music, though.

Anonymous,  7:44 pm  

Sounds like Haruna Ugi, the great gurumi singer.

Anonymous,  7:56 am  

Anon 7.50 if Jeremy thinks it reminds him of Bamako, it is because Malian music is more popular in the Western imagination than the music of Northern Nigeria. I listened to the music and I too immediately thought it was Malian, cause that's our association. How many Nigerians in the East or South are aware of the existence of this music anyway?

Catwalq 4:08 pm  

It is actually very nice...simple

Anikulapo,  5:15 pm  

@ anon 7:56 - I guess many. I dislike this assumption that most Western and Eastern nigerians have a parochial view. It's simply not true. All my friends correctly identified that music as gurumi or a close derivative, and none even mentioned Mali. If you've been to Mali, Niger or Burkina-Faso (as I have), you'll find that their cultures (as with their kinds of music) are very distinct.

The Pseudo-Independent 11:57 pm  

goes beyond Mali, Nigerians and Nigeriens this music speaks to world music connoisseurs around the globe. Its very Intense and poetic

Anengiyefa 6:37 pm  

Well, having finally listened to what you say wakes you up in the morning, my only thoughts are that I would find it extremely annoying to be awoken by a neighbour singing so loudly, and so early in the morning. It just smacks of a lack of consideration for others, regardless that the music itself is sublime..

Anonymous,  11:42 pm  

Nigeria and diversity! The guy should release an album and it will sell! Reminds me of King Ayisoba of Ghana. Same kind of sound in broken English. His song 'My Father' was a hit!

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