Pupa Bajah (Bajah + The Dry Eye Crew)

Pupa Bajah (Bajah + The Dry Eye Crew)

BandHip HopWorld

Bajah is the front man for the popular hip hop/reggae/world band called Bajah + The Dry Eye Crew. Originating in Sierra Leone, Africa, and currently living in New York City, they are preparing to release their international album in December 2013.


Pupa Bajah is the front man for the African superstar group Bajah + The Dry Eye Crew who are originally from Sierra Leone but are now based in New York City. The crew are superstars in their native country, filling the national stadium for headline performances and who now collaborate with some of the world's top hip hop artists such as ?uestlove and Black Thought of The Roots, Nneka, Talib Kweli, K'Naan, and others.

Bajah began his musical career after he migrated to Guinea during the height of Sierra Leone's 11-year bloody civil war. He was performing/Djing at various nightclubs and events. Soon after, he auditioned with a US music producer looking for artists from West Africa. His song, "Grab and Clap" become such a national phenomenon in Sierra Leone that it was licensed in the 2006 Academy-Award nominated film, Blood Diamond, which starred Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Connelly and Djimon Hounsou.

The rest, they say, is history.

Back in Sierra Leone, Bajah started collaborating with other well-known local music groups and from it Bajah + The Dry Eye Crew was born. Once the country emerged from the throes of the brutal war, the group were hailed as "the voice of the voiceless," speaking out against political and social injustices, spreading messages of peace and reconciliation, outing corrupt politicians, and inspiring the disenfranchised youth to pursue their dreams. The Crew started writing, recording, and performing together in 2000, and quickly rose to the heights of fame in their home country, playing to 50,000-deep crowds regularly at the National Stadium in Freetown. In Africa, they released 7 full-length albums (that have all gone platinum in Sierra Leone) and Bajah won Best Hip Hop Artist (2006) and won Best R&B Song (2007) from the national Cassette Sellers Association.

These days, Bajah + the Dry Eye Crew are poised to conquer the global airwaves with their first international debut album (helmed by the production team Fyre Department (whose credits include 50 Cent, Snoop Dogg, GZA, Justin Timberlake), coming out under the Nat Geo Music label. On a recent CNN interview with the band, ?uestlove of The Roots compared Bajah to the Michael Jackson of West Africa with the social conscience of Bob Marley and Fela Kuti. 2013 will also mark Bajah's debut as a producer, introducing his own label - Native Groove Productions, dropping three albums entirely produced, recorded, and engineered by the 'Lyrical Paparel,' Bajah. As a producer, Bajah has contributed three beats to fellow Sierra Leonean legend, Janka Nabay and the Bubu Gang's En Yay Sah album which was listed as one of NPR's 50 top albums of 2012.

Love is a theme of Bajah + Dry Eye Crew's music, and the joy and love their legions of fans have shown them comes through in their energetic, powerful live performances. They've performed at The Roots Picnic (by invitation from The Roots), at Carnegie Hall for the annual Tibet House fundraiser, at Lincoln Center Out Of Doors, in Prospect Park at the Celebrate Brooklyn: All For Africa benefit, at many Roots Jam sessions, at the United Nations and more. The group toured the USA for the first time in 2012 opening for Epic recording artist, Nneka. They have also shared the stage with John Legend, Iggy Pop, Shaggy, Regina Spektor, Talib Kweli, The Roots, Ziggy Marley, Joss Stone, John Forte, Angelique Kidjo, Sierra Leone Refugee Allstars, the "Fela!" cast among others since touching down on American soil. In 2010, the group was tapped by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to craft a song about development and perform it live at aTED event.

In Sierra Leone, the term dry eye is an expression of boldness. It is a reference to 'no tears' a.k.a. 'dry eyes,' and they hope that their music will bring joy and understanding to everybody that it touches. Bajah + the Dry Eye Crew are sharing their unique perspective on life and spreading their message of hope, love, and inspiration across the globe through their vibrant, infectious music and their electrifying live shows.