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EARLY MUSIC LIFE BATILE ALAKE (BATILE ALAKE BIOGRAPHY)
Batile or Batili Alake (died 2013) was a prominent Yoruba waka singer. Alake popularized the Islamic-inspired, Yoruba genre by playing at concerts and parties throughout Yorubaland, and was the first professional waka singer to record an album. She was most active during the 1950s and 1960s. She was among the overlapping crop of female musicians in the waka genre who came into prominence between the 1960s and 1980s. These include Olawunmi Adetoun, Decency Oladunni, Adebukola Ajao Oru, Foyeke ‘Ajangila’ Ayoka, Ayinke Elebolo, Aduke Ehinfunjowo, Hairat Isawu, Salawa Abeni, and Adijat Alaraagbo.
She sang in a chanting mode that originated from rara, a genre usually reserved for women in Yoruba tradition. With the percussive ensemble of drumming and back-up vocals, she and other practitioners of waka succeeded in transforming the chanting mode into commercial music, taking advantage of the opportunities that the recording industry provided. While younger musicians like Salawa Abeni are credited for waka innovations in terms of fast-tempo percussion and social commentary, Alake remained unsurpassed in the consistency of her style.
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