Gasper Nali is a Malawian musician who lives in Nkhata Bay on the shores of northern Lake Malawi. Videos of Gasper playing a custom-built instrument called a “Babatoni” have been circulating the internet over the last few years.
Not only is Gasper’s instrument unique, but his style and vocals are too. The Babatoni is a one-stringed instrument that is played with an empty bottle and a stick. Usually playing in front of a picturesque background, Gasper has caught millions of people’s attention with his original songs played on a homemade instrument.
Gasper plays his own homemade Babatoni which he uses to create catchy afro-beats. Despite Gasper’s incredible success playing music, he lives a very modest life in Malwai. When he was a young boy Gasper and his brothers would play music, travelling as a family band to make money.
Using this musical heritage and natural-born talent, Gasper was able to create a career for himself in music. He now lives in a small house in Nkhata Bay where he plays local shows supporting himself through performing his upbeat music.
His debut album is called “Abale Nkdikuwuzeni” which roughly translates to “People, I Want To Tell You”. It is a full-length studio recorded album that was released in December 2015. His music is resonating with people all across the world, spreading his culture and passion through his unique approach to creating afro-beats.
The Babatoni is definitely a very interesting instrument, Gasper uses a cow skin drum as well, which provides a driving beat. A stick is used to hit the Babatoni string creating a bass note and a drumbeat in perfect synchronization. The sound produced is similar to something which in the music production world is known as “side chaining”. His catchy afro-beats are great to listen to and would test anyone’s foot not to start tapping.