Ahmed Janka Nabay – Eh Congo

Janka Nabay is a countryman of mine (which means he is from Sierra Leone, West Africa) with a very interesting backstory you can read on his MySpace.  I’m not fluent in Temni, but I understand what Janka is singing about in “Eh Congo.”  I spoke to him last year to confirm my interpretation and draw some connections, because the lyrics to this song sounded like a free association exercise (that’s what happens when you leave your home country and get lost/immerse in foreign culture –language, communication changes/words are forgotten.) I could write about the song’s lyrics, but I won’t –that will spoil the mystery, or just diminish the song’s already understated mystique.  After all, this is music/rhythms used to soundtrack rituals involving secret societies, coronations, burials of village chiefs and prominent society members. But I must say, that has nothing to do with the lyrics here, which makes it even more intriguing. Anyway, Ahmed Janka Nabay Bubu King is coming out soon True Panther. You can pre-order  a 12″ EP here.

Ahmed Janka Nabay gets mentioned in a New York Times CMJ rundown;

There was also an African apparition: Janka Nabay from Sierra Leone, wearing a straw skirt and singing and dancing to recorded tracks of what he said was a 500-year-old tradition called bubu music. The tracks were modern, and the beat, fast and skeletal and driven by bell taps, was unstoppable, demanding wider dissemination.


listen to more audio from an interview Janka did with Straw vs Gold several months back.