Tuesday, October 25, 2011

South Sudanese music...brrraaaappp

*****Please note, what started as a meaningful post has just been replaced with self-indulgence******

Seriously World, its not what you think.......

So first, the World's initial exposure to South Sudan is through a Hollywood movie about a white priest who hunts rebels and saves kids, now, the World's first exposure to South Sudanese music is through this guy.......Bangs.

Seemingly a member of the South Sudanese diaspora in Australia, Bangs has recently become yet another internet sensation........ironically. Luckily though, a lot of his videos are made pre-independence and so all the maps of Sudan he refers to on the video is simply, Sudan.......not South-specific (I say this because the North don't need their music industry defending.....it is booming on its own).

And YES, I know you have heard of Emmanuel Jal, but thats because your an aid worker and pride yourself on being down with the exoticness.....thats why you probably have K'naan in your music collection and tell people that you've been listening to him since before the World Cup. Also, Bangs has about 500,000 more hits than Emmanuel Jal.......never underestimate the power of internet trolls.

But Bangs is not the only SS diaspora musician. A quick google search leads you to an array of rather embarrassing amateur videos. Although not all of them are terrible. This is my favourite, though they are in Kenya, so they get a bit more street cred:

 "We love you, Juba we love you...."(I can't make out the rest of the lyrics of the chorus, but it still brings joy to my heart)

And heres one from the US...... I think.

OK, ok, just one more. If you guys used to read the old version of Sudan Tribune that still had the comments section open, you will appreciate this. Ever wonder what happened to Dinka Boy? Well he is now D-Boy:

"I am the Sudanese man, I like the way I am. All I need is freedom, cause Im the Sudanese man"
Instant banger!

I would just like to take this moment to appeal to the World, to not simply write off South Sudanese music based on this one artist. For a country that is still recovering (probably closer to starting from scratch) from the civil war, South Sudan has surprisingly done pretty damn well in establishing its music industry. But those are simply words aren't they? Well, if you have the time to spare, here is a select few South Sudanese (locally produced) tracks that I feel better represents the country. Please note that a lot of the really good tracks are impossible to find on Youtube as they are only available at in Juba.

First, we got a classic tune. This was on loop on South Sudan TV in the lead to the referendum (and NO, not because SSTV didn't really have much material to air at the time!). Emmanuel Kembe:

Not feeling that one? A little bit too slow for your? Try this classic dance tune:

This one goes out to my peacebuilders out there:

Since I have just obviously gone off on a self-indulgent ride of sweet audible Juba memories, here is an brilliant track with a great video from the Sudan Votes album (this whole album is a good introduction to Sudanese pop music). This track is a collaboration with artists from all over the country:

And finally, what better way to say goodbye than to say good bye to the Arabs, "Bye Bye Jalaba"

I actually have a lot more to share. Let me know in the comments section if you are interested.


  1. Thanks a lot!!

    Please also check the house remixes of Jal's "Kuar" by Henrik Schwarz and Olof Drijer ("The Knife"):
    And then check out the live vids how people in clubs and festivals around the world freak out to this Nuer and Juba Arabic smash-hit!

  2. We need to get someone to send a bunch of tapes to this guy http://www.awesometapes.com/

  3. Thanks for sharing Ambrose, but wtf is that first video?! hahaha its like some random non-sudan related video from the 70s.

    Also, no offence but I much prefer the original version of the song.
    I do appreciate the global spread of the Nuer and Juba Arabic smash-hit though.