Bubu Time

A little while back I posted about a music from Sierra Leone. I didn’t know its name, but I heard similarities to music from Hispanola, and thought there might be a connection. Not too long after I discovered that the Rara and Gaga from Haiti and the Dominican Republic have roots in Benin.

Well, in a lesson that one should look close by to find answers, I read the liner notes of one of the tracks I posted and found out the music is Bubu music, and it’s a Temne music rooted in Muslim tradition. I think it is similar in functional properties as the Rara, being a processional music. There’s a great snapshot of Sierra Leonean music on this BBC page, you can read here to get a little more background for this and a lot of other music, but I was a little disappointed because they also say Bubu is not a widely recorded music.

In that post she mentions Ahmed Janka Nabay. He is the main promoter of Bubu music

Ahmed Janka Nabay – Eh Congo. (Direct Download)

Great stuff. Apparently he’s in the Bronx right now, and works with Wills from Green Owl who sent me the track. Listen to more, and send a message at myspace if you want to by a CD.

Part of what has got me so is excited is that I’ve been hearing Bubu in popular music from young artists interpreting the rhythm on keyboards and computer drum machines, and many many more people are starting to integrate this into their music.

AND! Since I’m so inspired by this music the Banana Clipz did a Bubu Soca Juke hybrid beat for Sierra Leonean singer Khady Black, which you can get here!:

Crisis (Banana Clipz Bubustyle Remix)-Khady Black (Direct Download)

Enjoy, and tell your friends about Sierra Leone music!


  1. musawulo
    Mar 24, 2009

    Chief Boima, this piece with Khady Black sounds pretty kool. She’s a HUGE reggae star in Sierra Leone. It is nice of her to step outside of her comfort zone for once….guess it shows her versatility. Did you produce the track?

  2. Boima
    Mar 25, 2009

    Yeah Musawulo, we recorded it at my place in Oakland, CA. Thanks for the kind words, I’ll pass them on!

    Mar 30, 2009

    Boima. This tune is bananas!!!

  4. Wills
    Apr 05, 2009

    Love it! Janka is now in Philly. Let’s aim for some collabs this summer. I’ll make sure he hears your tune. Thanks!!!

  5. musawulo
    Apr 06, 2009

    You’re welcome Boima. I am digging the tune each I listen to it. Big tune!! So, where is Khady Black?

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