Sussex, UK – Solá Akingbolá, long-standing percussionist with the international, chart-topping band Jamiroquai, has released Routes to Roots (ARC Music), a superb album of Yoruba (Nigeria) percussion. He finds his way back to his roots exploring the unique melodies, rhythmic structures and philosophical poetry of the Yoruba people.
Solá Akingbolá has spent most of his life in London, UK, but his roots are in Oregun, Nigeria, where he was born to Yoruba parents. Describing his relationship to Nigeria as a musical odyssey in which he finds his way home, Solá reveals his passion for the language of music:
"I was always seduced by the sound of the Yoruba language and the way it was expressed within the drumming. When a Yoruba drummer plays, it’s not just music: he’s talking, reciting, teasing, invoking and praising. These qualities open up other worlds of interest for me that go beyond music; worlds that lead me to history, to the essence of my people."
Entering the jazz scene in the early 90s with the Ronny Jordan band and then finding his feet for the last decade in the jazz-funk of Jamiroquai, Solá has toured the world and played innumerable major international venues. But no matter which route he takes as a musician he always returns to the same place – the tradition and culture that brings him home – Yoruba rhythm, language and poetry.
Renowned for its advanced drumming, Yoruba music is largely devotional in that spirituality and ancestor worship lies at it’s core. The complex religious and philosophical system of the Yorubas date back thousands of years and, as a result of diaspora, has become influential throughout the Caribbean, many areas of Latin America and increasingly in North America and Europe. Through his musical expression on this album, you can truly feel Solá’s genuine African ancestry.
"The first music I heard was Yoruba. It was inside the language I heard my parents speaking and pulsing through the drumming I soaked up as a child..."
The album is not available in North America yet. Get it from the UK at Routes to Roots.
Author: World Music Central News Department
World music news from the editors at World Music Central