Sierra Leone: Musician Ahmed Janka Nabay ‘The Bubu King’ has died
It is with a very heavy heart that we announce the death of Sierra Leonean artist Jankay Nabay. He died in Sierra Leone.
“Nabay’s fled Sierra Leone’s civil war of the 1990s, and he spent many years working a chicken fryer and on food trucks to support himself. In 2010, aided by the enthusiastic support of PRI producer Wills Glasspiegel, Nabay fell into a crowd of celebrated Brooklyn musicians who joined him as collaborators. In 2012, Nabay released his acclaimed debut in the United States, En Yay Sah (Luaka Bop) to praise from Pitchfork, Vice, NPR (Best of 2012), The Boston Globe, and The Washington Post (Best of 2012). In En Yay Sah (translation: “I’m Scared”), Nabay and the Bubu Gang developed Nabay’s songs into an improvised weave of guitars, keyboards, backup vocals, and electronic drums.” – Powerline Agency
This is very sad news. Janka is a legend, and his music will live on, but we’ll never know what glorious melodies and bubu beats he would have gifted to us if his life wasn’t cut so short. I feel bad that I never got to see him perform live. His was the first Sierra Leonean music I was introduced to when I arrived in 2006, and remains the most uplifting and inspirational music from that country to this day. R.I.P. King of Bubu