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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Wura Samba's Nigeria Music Is Spiritual AND It Rocks!

Edited by Azizi Powell

While surfing YouTube the other day for videos of Samba music, I happened upon a video by Wura Samba and I LOVED it. Of course, that meant that I had to watch all of Wura Samba's YouTube videos -there are about five of them online, not counting replications. And of course, I knew that I had to showcase at least some of those videos on this blog. So Wura Samba, this post is for you.

Unfortunately, I can find nothing online about Wura Samba and his group. Most of his videos were posted between August 2012 and December 2012. To date, each of the videos have only a small number of viewers, and no comments.

In searching further, I found a short video of Wura Samba (with that name written as "wurasamba" which was posted by ExxSt in July 2008 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eYdTa6ZoKkc
(I'm not sure if "Wura Samba" or "wurasamba" is the lead musician's name or the name of the group). And again that YouTube video very few views, and no comments.

Okay, come on folks - These songs are too good to be overlooked.

In a summary to one of his videos- IBA ELEDUA BY WURASAMBA@ FREEDOM PARK FELABRATION 12- Wura Samba describes his compositions as "Afrofolklore Percussion Music". In a summary of a video of his composition "Otito", Wura Samba describes it as "Traditional Folk Afro Music". And in a summary of another video of his composition "Alute", http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VO4beggAqRc, Wura Samba describes it as "a folk song".

In my opinion, those labels don't adequately describe Wurasamba's music. And, even more to the point, I think that they do damage to people's consideration of that music. I'm not a music critic. BUT, when I think of African folk music, I don't think of the music that is featured on those YouTube videos of Wura Samba & his group. the label "AfroFolk Music" is a turn off. Rightly or wrongly, to most people in the United States, the label "folk music" is toxic. "Folk music" calls to mind images of old White people strumming on an acoustic guitar and singing really old songs or new ones that they wrote, since they believe they will be the next Bob Dylan.

Maybe that's one of the reasons why Wura Samba's videos aren't getting that much play on YouTube. Maybe Wura Samba should label his music some more modern sounding name, or maybe he should coin his own label for his music.

When I heard Wura Samba's music, I thought it was Nigerian Jazz that was based on traditional Yoruba rhythms and maybe also traditional Yoruba songs. I concluded that this music was from Yoruba traditions because one of my hobbies is researching the origins & meanings of African names. Most of the song titles for the Wura Samba songs that are on YouTube are from the Yoruba language of Nigeria. "Otito" is the exception as it's from the Igbo Nigerian language. The name "Wura" means "gold" in the Yoruba language. I'm not sure if "Samba" is a Yoruba name element or word or if that musician made up that name [for himself or his group?] to mean something like "golden Samba" (music). In my opinion, "Nigerian Samba" would be a much better label for Wura Samba's music than "AfroFolk Music". But then again, I know too little about Samba music to say whether his music actually sounds like Samba music.

Maybe Wura Samba should call his (or their) music "Nigerian Jazz" - which is what I thought it was. Then, of course, he could say (because it certainly appears to be true) that his compositions are based on or are strongly influenced by traditional Yoruba rhythms and songs. Notice that I suggested the use of the word "traditional" instead of "folk". The word "traditional" has good connotations. The word "folk" has bad connotations.

Or maybe Wura Samba ("Wurasamba"?) needs to make up a whole new music genre for his [their] music and then market the heck out of that music using that new label.

Wura Samba's music is spiritual and it rocks, It deserves far more attention on YouTube and elsewhere online* then that music has gotten thus far.
*and also off-line but for all I know, Wurasamba may be doing very well outside of the Internet.

I offer these suggestions out of love for this music and hope that my words won't be taken the wrong way.

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FEATURED VIDEOS
(These videos are posted in chronological order by the date of their posting on YouTube, with the oldest post presented first.)

Example #1: wurasamba



ExxSt,Uploaded on Jul 3, 2008

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Example #2: ELEBOTO BY WURASAMBA



wura samba Published on Aug 30, 2012

MEANS GOOD THINGS
-snip-
This summary statement means that in English the [Yoruba] word "Eleboto" means "good things".

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Example #3: OTITO



wura samba, Published on Aug 30, 2012
-snip-
This is one of the two videos of "Otito" by Wura Samba that can be found on YouTube.

With or without another word, "Otito" is used very often as a Nigerian song title. It appears to me that many of these songs are religious, since "Olotito" is an Igbo (Nigerian) praise name for God which means "The Truthful" http://www.nigerianchurchonline.com/blog/names-god-yoruba-language-oruko-ati-oriki-olorun.

"Otito" is also an Igbo male and female name that is a shortened form of various names such as "Otitodilinna or Otitodilichukwu or Otutodilichukwu or Otutodilinna" http://culture.chiamaka.com/IgboNames/igbonamesosoz.htm. According to that website, "Otito" means "Glory be to God."

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Example #4: IBA ELEDUA BY WURASAMBA@ FREEDOM PARK FELABRATION 12.



wura samba,Published on Dec 3, 2012

ITS AN AFROFOLKLORE PERCAUSION MUSIC
-snip-
This is the first Wura Samba video that I happened upon.

I used Google to try to suss out the meaning of the title "Iba Eledu", and started with the name "Eledu". Google search gave me hits for the orisa (god) name Elegba (Eleggua, Elegu, Legba). Here's some information on Eleggua from http://santeriachurch.org/the-orishas/eleggua/:
" Eleggua (also spelled Elegua, Elewa, Elegba or Legba) is the most important of the orishas in Santeria. Elegua was the first orisha created by Olodumare and he existed prior to and witnessed creation unfold. He is the key to any of our religious practices, for without Elegua’s blessings nothing can proceed, transpire nor succeed in the world. Eleggua is the owner of all roads, crossroads, and doors. He is the power that allows all of the ache in the universe to move from point A to point B. Elegba allows our prayers to reach the orishas. Elegba allows ache to flow in ebó so that our fate may be changed. He facilitates divination (diloggun, obi, okuele or any other form of divination) by communicating to and for the other orishas, and to Olodumare herself"...
-snip-
When I did a Google search for the word "Iba", I got hits for the word "Ifa". Here's some information on the Yoruba word "Ifa" from
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/If%C3%A1:
"Ifá originated in West Africa in the form of a stringent Yoruba philosophy, and is celebrated in traditional African medicine, Santería (referred to as Lukumi), Candomblé, West African & Diaspora Vodou, and similarly in Orisa'Ifa lineages all over the globe."...
-snip-
The word "Ifa" is also used online (at least) as a generalized term for traditional Yoruba religion.

Now you can see why I said that Wura Samba's music is spiritual.
And when you hear that music, you'll see why I said that it rocks, although I hasten to say that by "rocks" I mean it has a great percussive sound, and NOT that it is a part of the American Rock music genre.

I'm glad I cleared that up.

Enjoy!

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENT AND THANKS
My thanks to Wura Samba for composing and performing these featured songs. Thanks also to the publishers of these videos on YouTube.

The content of this post is presented for cultural, entertainment, and aessthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks for visiting pancocojams.

Viewer comments are welcome.

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