Fuji Renaissance | Nigerian Pulse


In September 2022, Asake‘s ‘Terminators’ it became the top song on Spotify Nigeria’s monthly charts. Her debut album, ‘Mr Money With The Vibe’, dominated local charts, debuting at No. 66 on the Billboard 200 and inspiring a tour of the US and UK. It currently has over 2 million monthly listeners on Spotify, with listeners from Amsterdam to Los Angeles. Born in Lagos, Asake is reintroducing Fuji music to the world, infused with other traditional sounds and mainstream pop music. And he is not alone.

Ask Nigerians, and more often than not, they’ll describe Fuji as the music of the older Yoruba. The sight of older Yoruba men dancing Fuji and her cousins ​​her sonics like apala Y Juju it is just as familiar and natural to most. To new listeners and outsiders alike, Fuji can sound like a song of praise or a call to arms, thanks to its up-tempo patterns and energetic singing.

Yet despite its narrow and strident reputation, Fuji was born from a marriage of faith and tradition. Muslim singers in southwestern Nigeria created Were music to wake up the fasting faithful during Ramadan, popularizing it in Yoruba towns and cities. When the bells of independence rang across Nigeria in 1960, from Lagos to Ilorin, many rejoiced in the music of the biggest artists of the day, including Alhaji Dauda Epo-Akara who popularized Were in Ibadan. Chief Sikiru Ayinde LawyerKnown as the father of Fuji, he is said to have taken the name from an airport billboard advertising Mount Fuji, Japan’s highest peak.

Today, Fuji’s iconic artists enjoy a similar devoted fandom as their Afrobeats peers, albeit within a different demographic. King Wasiu Ayinde Marshall deserves a lot of credit for adding flair and propelling the sound even further with fuji talazo. He has also been one of the most in-demand, reserved and busy artists for decades. With the advent of streaming, nostalgia has drawn mainstream fans to the genre’s most iconic artists. Until recently, however, the genre has long remained hidden, due to its association with market women and bus stations, bastions of the Nigerian working class and fanatics on the outskirts of the mainstream. major.

All of that is changing. Fuji’s renaissance is led by a generation of young Nigerians born and raised in a mix of traditional sounds and global influences. Harnessing the internet and social media, they combined their favorite cultural elements, elevating Amapiano’s drum beats, EDM synths, and the craze for the biggest trap artists. Asake’s music videos, directed by the Nigerian director, GT Omori they have become moments in their own right, with a colorful yet dystopian aesthetic.

Perhaps most importantly, these contemporary artists are changing the perception that Fuji is for older people. The transcontinental viral popularity of songs like Asake’s ‘Joha’ it shows how much the young people are taking advantage of. It is impossible to dismiss the role of the Nigerian diaspora, which is instrumental in proudly exporting culture around the world. Furthermore, artists like Asake are exporting this new hybrid to farther distances than Barrister could have imagined when he saw the airport sign. Artists like Bella Shmurda have performed and collaborated with artists from the US, the Caribbean, and more.

By re-introducing Fuji to the world, these artists are expanding global awareness of the Nigerian experience, making traditional music accessible to a generation of new fans. At Spotify, we are dedicated to promoting Nigerian music to the world and helping creators find new audiences. The recent success of Fuji’s latest avant-garde inspired us to create a home for true music lovers and those looking to learn more about the fundamentals of Nigerian music. The Sound of Fuji playlist contains the definitive tracks, from its Wéré origins to music by contemporary icons like Chief sahid osupa.

Fuji’s traditions and history have been passed down by word of mouth and tradition over the years. And as such, the playlist curating experience was educational and quite expansive, offering an even deeper look into listening habits and local music history. Among the many songs that caught our attention, it is almost impossible to leave out “Baby Je Ka Jo”a song that defines everything King Wasiu Ayinde, and by extension Fuji music, is known and loved for.

Far from its origins of prayer, Fuji has come to take many forms. At his core, he is energetic, boisterous and uniquely Nigerian. In his newest ways, he’s climbing the list of Nigeria’s cultural exports and attracting new converts to the Afrobeats party. At Spotify, we are committed to ensuring that Nigerian music continues to unwrap its many gifts and that the next generation of artists is entrusted with the ability to carry on.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Share post:


More like this