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However, political corruption and rampant music piracy in Nigeria has hampered the industry's growth.
Following World War II, Nigerian music started to take on new instruments and techniques, including electric instruments imported from the United States and Europe.
The result was that highlife ceased to be a major part of mainstream Nigerian music, and was thought of as being something purely associated with the Igbos of the east.
Highlife's popularity slowly dwindled among the Igbos, supplanted by jùjú and fuji.
However, at its roots, fuji is a mixture of Muslim traditional were music'ajisari songs with "aspects of apala percussion and vocal songs and brooding, philosophical sakara music"; of these elements, apala is the fundamental basis of fuji.
The first stars of fuji were the rival bandleaders Alhaji Sikiru Ayinde Barrister and Ayinla Kollington.
During the same period, other highlife performers were reaching their peak.
Among the genre's earliest stars were Haruna Ishola and Ayinla Omowura; Ishola released numerous hits from the late '50s to the early '80s, becoming one of the country's most famous performers.
However, a few performers kept the style alive, such as Yoruba singer and trumpeter Victor Olaiya (the only Nigerian to ever earn a platinum record), Stephen Osita Osadebe, Sonny Okosun, Victor Uwaifo, and Orlando "Dr.
Ganja" Owoh, whose distinctive toye style fused jùjú and highlife.
The African hemiola style, based on the asymmetric rhythm pattern is an important rhythmic technique throughout the continent.
Nigerian music also uses ostinato rhythms, in which a rhythmic pattern is repeated despite changes in metre.