Consummate percussionist, singer and songwriter, Abiodun Oke (Wura Samba) recently released his album Onala.
Onala, meaning ‘breakthrough’ in Yoruba, is Wura Samba’s second album. It comprises nine tracks that include ‘Alantere’, ‘Iya’, Onidiri, Kelebe, the title track, ‘Onala’ and others, produced by Volume Sonore in France.
Wura Samba is bringing cultures together, adopting a blend of Western instrumentation for his sophomore project. “Onala is a sensation, it is something different from the previous album, Ajo. It is a blend of Yoruba folklore and pop involving percussion, strings, rhythm guitar, bass horns, and the keyboard, it is definitely fantastic and a delight to listen and dance to” Oke said to eyesofalagosboy.com.
Led by Oke, Wura Samba is a Lagos-based six-member Afro drumming and percussion band. Their style is characterised by a deep adherence to complex Yoruba traditional religious themes that feature chants with backing support by high energy drums.
They mirror the electrifying African vibrations in a combination of drums, folk songs, dance and costumes in their performances. The dexterity of Wura Samba ensemble creates a rich and evolving repertoire.
The band performs using a Sambabe – an 8-piece multi-tonal drum set. This square shaped traditional wooden percussion instrument is influenced mainly by the Yoruba culture. The piece is prominently supported by other traditional percussion instruments such as the akuba drums, bataa, sekere and agogo.
Throughout their 15 year professional career, Wura Samba has showcased his band in several events and concerts around the world. They have collaborated with artists including Tony Allen, Nneka, Dede Mabiaku, Majik Malik, Ayo, Balogun, Zaaki Azzay, Jazz Ambassadors from Memphis and others. The band has been on several tours with BANTU, Keziah Jones and Kayode Olajide.