News Brief

Sierra Leone's 'Bubu Music' King, Janka Nabay, Has a New Album On The Way

Janka Nabay, Sierra Leone's king of bubu music, and his band, the Bubu Gang, announced their new album 'Build Music.'

Janka Nabay, Sierra Leone's king of bubu music, and his band, the Bubu Gang, have a new record on the way.


The new album, Build Music, will take the West African bamboo horns that accompany traditional bubu processions—which take place in rural parts of Sierra Leone during Ramadan—into new, modern and electronic grounds.

Janka became a star in '90s Sierra Leone for this updated take on bubu music, which he created by adding electric studio instrumentation to the traditional genre.

He moved to the United States in 2003 and, since then, has released a number of bubu music records alongside the Bubu Gang on labels like True Panther and Luaka Bop. His last album, En Yay Sah, was a heavy favorite at the OkayAfrica offices.

“Bubu is an old, old music,” Nabay mentions. “You can add new things to the beat if you know it really, really well.”

Watch a video trailer for Build Music, due March 24 on Luaka Bop, and check out its cover art below.

Music

Interview: Ranks ATM Makes ‘Substance Music’

South African hip-hop artist Ranks ATM on his latest EP 'Substance Music', working with Riky Rick and his crew African Trap Movement's new chapter.

Ranks ATM demands to be taken seriously. With every successive release, listeners are bound to pick up on both his personal and artistic growth. His latest EP, Substance Music, released towards the end of 2020, is an honest body of work that sees the artist divulge some aspects of his life while remaining playful and entertaining.

Young2unn, who produced a majority of the project, gave Ranks ATM beats that primarily consist of keys and strings cushioned by atmospheric pads and ethereal vocal samples panned for effect. The music is soulful enough for Ranks to tell his story and gritty enough to maintain his street aesthetic.

On Substance Music, the artist strikes the balance between playful banter and poignant expression of emotions. It's what makes his raps believable in general—he presents himself as a complete human who feels pain at times but also feels himself. Songs such as "Die For Me" and "How Could It Be" are laced with specific details that could have only been extracted from his life experiences, for instance, on the former, he raps, "You cheated on me with a gym freak, you did me dirty."

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Joeboy Shares Visuals for New Track 'Lonely'

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