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Lefty salami Early Music Life (Lefty salami Biography Tribe & Genre of Music i.e The Type of Music)
Born Salami Balogun, in Obalende, Lagos, sometime between 1910-1920, young Lefty Salami’s formative years were at the period when the founder of Sakara music, the iconic Abibu Oluwa was refining the genre from its parent genre known as “Seli”. With the new genre increasing in popularity, a slew of Sakara singers and drummers emerged on the scene, and it was from one of them known as Abu, that young Lefty learnt how to beat the Sakara drum. Lefty Salami attended St Matthias Junior School and had a few years of primary education before he dropped out. His lack of western education notwithstanding, Lefty was still regarded as something of a prodigy, and was noted to be very good with his hands, excelling at drumming and wrestling as well as in other physical activities.
Lefty Salami’s role in the development of Sakara music has not got as much recognition as it deserves, especially as compared to the likes of Yusuf Olatunji and Abibu Oluwa. Perhaps due to the fact that given that a large body of Salami’s work is lost to time, modern audiences have not had the opportunity to appreciate his work as they have done for some other more popular Sakara musicians. Also with Lefty Salami being a more natural drummer than lyricist, his lyrics are heavily modelled on Abibu Oluwa’s style, and thus there is a tendency for fans to appreciate more vocally distinctive musicians like Yusufu Olatunji more.
While the Sakara genre is all but comatose, having being left by the wayside by technology and a youthful population who are fixated on a different kind of party sound, Lefty Salami’s sound and his dinstinctive drumming will continue to live on. Not just in his son Jamiu “Lefty” Salami, who joined his father’s band in 1970 and carries on his legacy as well as he can, but also in the very soul of Nigerian music, even when the practitioners of those genres have long forgotten who he was.
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