Gasper Nali


It’s all about the bass

Let’s be honest. The notion of becoming an internet sensation, with somewhere in the region of 20 million online views, is an unlikely scenario for an unknown artist living modestly on the northern shores of Lake Malawi. But that’s the circumstances that Gasper Nali found himself in when someone uploaded an old film of him performing his song A Bale Ndikuwuzeni. Its appeal is not difficult to understand. The song belts along at a frantic pace, propelled by the wiry sound of Gasper’s babatoni, a super-sized, one-string bass that’s played with a drumstick and an empty beer bottle and that he invented himself. This is a big instrument and, together with a primitive kick drum, Gasper makes a big sound. Indeed, it’s scarcely believable that just one man is making it. But don’t just take our word for it. Twenty million others would happily testify too.

Click here to listen to Gaspar Nali on the Discover WOMAD 2018 playlist on Spotify.