Janka Nabay and The Bubu Gang


Allow Janka Nabay to introduce you to the world of bubu – a frantically-paced dance music with ancient, magical origins in Sierra Leone.


Janka Nabay single-handedly radicalised bubu in his native Freetown, Sierra Leone in the 90s, adding drum machine kicks and twitching synths to the traditional airy hum of blown bamboo shoots and carburetor pipes (bubu is usually played on makeshift instruments – often repurposed automobile parts). Janka then spent ten years off the musical radar working at a fried chicken joint in Philadelphia before connecting with like-minded players from Brooklyn (who became the first incarnation of The Bubu Gang). An EP released in 2010 caught the ear of David Byrne, who subsequently signed him to his celebrated Luaka Bop label. Fast-forward to 2017 and Janka Nabay & The Bubu Gang have just released their second record, Build Music, sharing the joyous flavour of bubu with Europe for the first time.