Music of the Month: Haruna Ishola (1919–1983)
Haruna Ishola Bello M.O.N. (Member of the Order of the Niger) was a Nigerian musician, and one of the most popular artists in the apala genre. In the decades leading up to Nigerian independence in 1960, apala music developed when amateur musicians would play to arouse the faithful after the long fast of Ramadan.
Much like Cuban Santeria and Haitian vodoun, the music of Nigeria's Yoruba tribe is believed to have mythical powers, either to heal or to curse. Chief Haruna Ishola's brand of Apala music is treated with the same reverence typically reserved for the Orishas - the Yoruba pantheon of deities - and it was believed that his singing was so powerful it could kill its intended recipient if not properly restrained. (source)