Meet Gaspar Nali From Malawi Playing His Babatoni


As heard with Pat Courtenay, this is the latest release from Gasper Nali: a Kwela roots one-man-act from the small town of Nkhata Bay on the shores of Lake Malawi.

He plays a one-string, home-made, 3-meter long Babatoni bass guitar with a stick and an empty beer bottle, along with a cow skin kick drum. With this arrangement, he creates amazing, dance-inducing Afro Beats.

Gasper Nali’s unique style of music has received an extraordinary amount of online attention after a 2010 video of him playing by the lake shore went viral with more than 20 million views.

According to the Globe & Mail, “It’s the singing that keeps A Bale Ndikuwuzeni from becoming Nkhata Bay’s answer to the Stooges. He sings like a man in love. Clear-hearted and confident, he sings a melody that seems to glitter in the sun, fly out across the waves. And so despite the muddy, thumping instrumentation, A Bale Ndikuwuzeni feels like bright and joyful pop”

He has been featured by CNN, jammed with Joss Stone, appeared on Wired for Sound – Malawi, and has also been featured on BBC 6 Music.