The King of Bubu Music Hits the Road

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If you search Bubu Music in Google, the first eight links are all about Janka Nabay. The ninth is the Wikipedia article on the traditional music of the Temne people from Sierra Leone, made with “old keyboards and by blowing on carburetor pipes and bamboo shoots,” and of which Janka Nabah is universally considered the King.  Not only that, Janka was also the first to record Bubu music in Sierra Leone, and his music proved to unite war torn Sierra Leone over ebullient dance music, whose goal was to use the music to promote “peace, good governance and the empowerment of women.”

Nabay released the first Bubu record in the West last year and is currently working on funding his first American tour with Kickstarter, a journey Janka is taking to spread the sound and vision of Bubu music to people all over the land.  A long time fan of his electric music, I was floored when Janka recently passed along a few tapes that he recorded back in Sierra Leone. These tapes, recorded during the Civil War, are low in fidelity, but bursting with bamboo cane flute flavor and side-steeping rhythms that make boogaloo and dancehall sound slow. Just take a listen for yourself. And be sure to never miss a show from the Bubu king. It’s better for the mind and body than hitting the gym everyday.

Download Janka Nabay- Sabanoh Side A

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