thought a few times of how to do this
interview and introduction. Do I approach
it from a fan, journalist or friend viewpoint?
I can't decide, so I'll just freestyle
and hope it vibes just right. The last
time Sola and I did an interview (March
2006), it was about his feeling on HIV
and AIDS. If interested, you can read
of copy of that here: http://www.jamirotalk.net/forum/viewtopic.php?p=54693
In defining what GeoClan stands for, which
is creating a World family and uploading
change, I am pleased to present musician
Solá Akingbolá. Solá is a native of Nigeria,
but has made a home in Europe the past
few decades, where he has had the privilege
of recording and performing percussion
as part of the multi-genred collective/band
known as Jamiroquai. While that is quite
impressive, we are happy to speak with
Solá about his solo debut, Routes to Roots
(Arc Music), which channels his Yoruba
heritage through various percussion instruments.
The album takes listeners on a journey
of his traditional childhood, lessons
passed down from percussion greats, and
influential styles that have shaped his
passion of playing music. Open your ears
to hear the sound and perhaps you'll catch
a rhythm that exposes the emotion and
experience of musician, Mr. Solá Akingbolá.
Can you tell us a little bit about your
heritage and why it was so important to
reflect that in this solo project?
cultural heritage has been a constant
source of inspiration to me for as long
as I can remember. I never consciously
set out to become a drummer/percussionist.
The sound of my language (Yoruba) is so
melodic and rhythmic, I always new that
one day I would try to express this relationship
to myself and any one else who was interested.
The drummers of Yorubaland
have been the constant seductive sound
in my head. To have completed an album
with four players from Yorubaland has
been a dream come true and an honor.
doing his thing.
Besides African, there is a tinge of Latin
flavor, where does that come from?
Latin influence you can hear is the reflections
of Africa from a different point of view.
The drummers of Latin America have been
incredible guardians/torchbearers of the
African spirit. When I was trying to improve
my skills as a percussionist, I had the
pleasure of meeting some incredible players
from Cuba ( Irakere's the late great Miguel
"Anga" Diaz, Tata Guines,
Los Van Vans -Luis "Changuito"
Quintana) who were very kind in showing
me the musical and cultural umbilical
Who are some of your percussion influences
and inspirations? Have you ever met any
of them? If so, how was that or describe
influences are all the guys mentioned
in question 2. Plus Giovanni Hidalgo,
arguably the greatest living conguero.
Fela Anikulapo Kuti, his cousin the Nigerian
intellectual Wole Soyinka, Yusuf Olatunji
one of the beautiful exponents of the
Yoruba drum called sakara. The last artist
mentioned died a long time before I was
born, so I have not had the pleasure of
meeting him! As for the others, it was
a life changing experience.
My physical album is still enroute from
Amazon, so can tell me if there are any
Album Routes to Roots
are no collaborations on this project.
I felt I needed to establish the concept
on my own first. Hopefully for the next
Routes to Roots we will feature some interesting
Although all the tracks are personal to
you, can you tell me which is the one
or two that you feel particularly close
track I feel particularly close to is
track 5 called Ori Ni Kan. Which means
Ori is the One. Ori is that beautiful
creative powerful force that we all have,
that enables us to achieve amazing things.
The poem speaks of personal responsibility.
The only power that can follow you to
the deepest, furthest place is you. I
love this poem.
Besides the obvious of the style and solo
element, how does this vastly differ from
main difference is that I could make this
project my own.
using his hands
Can fans expect any gigs to support the
album? You did say you were rehearsing
for a live gig..any details?
I'm working on some live dates in the
New Year. At the moment I'm trying to
find some younger players to get involved
with. Particularly young Nigerians who
are interested in contemporizing the rhythms
What is next on your plate?
would like to finish building the studio
/rehearsal space at the back of my house,
which is proving to be a rather tricky
hear samples of Routes to Roots, check
BUY Routes to Roots, use that same ARC
link or try Amazon, HMV, or your local
learn more about Solá, see www.solaakingbola.com
to win the new CD? Click
here for The Routes To Roots Contest
any comments to firstname.lastname@example.org