When I call Ahmed Gallab, he has just finished breakfast on his final day in London, where he has been rehearsing with his band ahead of their performance at WOMAD festival. Actually, that should be both bands and performances plural, as Ahmed is not only the leader of City Slang's African-tinged electro-pop outfit Sinkane, but the musical coordinator of the Atomic Bomb! Band, who play the music of William Onyeabor. Both groups will be performing at WOMAD, and then again at David Byrne's Meltdown festival at the Southbank Centre in August.

The first thing I want to hear about from Ahmed is how he came across Onyeabor's music and how he ended up heading the Atomic Bomb! Band. Immediately I could hear the excitement in his voice as he thought back, "It was on this compilation World Psychedelic Classics Volume 3 [The Fuzzy Sounds of West Africa], they had a song of his, 'Better Change Your Mind'... there were some other great tracks on there by the Super Eagles and Moussa Doumbia, but that one really stood out, I immediately wanted to know more and hear more." Gallab had instantly recognised another African musician with a passion and energy that he looked for in his own music. He wasn't the only one intrigued by Onyeabor, and the label behind the World Psychedelic Classics Volume 3, Luaka Bop, went on to put out a whole volume of their series dedicated to Onyeabor (Vol. 5: Who Is William Onyeabor?) in 2013, and then a box set of his entire discography a year later.

Gallab may have stayed just as a fan and admirer of Onyeabor's music if it hadn't been for something of a chance encounter. He relates to me the story of Sinkane supporting Femi Kuti in Central Park in summer 2013; "the Luaka Bop guys were there to talk to Femi, they wanted to get some quotes from African musicians about William Onyeabor, but Femi didn't know who he was!" Fortunately, the Luaka Bop guys also talked to Gallab and he didn't hold back on expounding on his love and excitement for Onyeabor's music. The Luaka Bop guys told him about the project to bring some of Onyeabor's music to the stage, and one thing led to another with Gallab coming onboard as the leader, along with the rest of Sinkane making up a core.

This may seem like a complete stroke of luck, but there's no luck without hard work, and that suits Gallab perfectly. Just from talking to him you can tell that he's a focused and dedicated musician and collaborator. He has to be for the Atomic Bomb! Band, as he's not only playing with his Sinkane bandmates, but is joined by a troupe of backing singers, African musicians and an ever-evolving cast of special guests that has featured the likes of Pat Mahoney (LCD Soundsystem), Alexis Taylor (Hot Chip) and David Byrne, to mention a few. When I ask him about the stress or pressure of having to lead such a large and esteemed group he admits he was a little overwhelmed at the thought, but in reality there was no real problem; he just enjoys playing the music, as does everyone else involved, which makes it a lot more easy and fun. I ask him what makes Onyeabor's music ideal for collaboration, "there's just so much going on, it's impossible to think that it was made by one man... it's never really been played live before this, but instantly you can feel it bursting at the seams with so many ideas when you start playing." This has rung true with crowds as well, as the Atomic Bomb! Band is still in demand, "at first we were only meant to do these few shows," Gallab tells me, "but now we're over 10 shows and it's taken us all over the world."

Gallab is a natural collaborator, as he has shown with the Atomic Bomb! Band and in Sinkane, where he and his bandmate Jason Trammell often co-write lyrics on their songs. I ask what it was like working with another famed collaborator David Byrne, whom he first met in preparation for the first Atomic Bomb! shows. "I didn't know what to expect, but he was great, he was happy to fill in and do his parts completely perfectly... it shows that he really respects you as a musician." That respect has been shown again by Byrne as he has invited Gallab to bring both of his bands to this year's Meltdown festival at Southbank, which he's curating. "It's an honour," Gallab admits, "it should be an exciting one."

Aside from working hard on making the Atomic Bomb! shows better than ever, Gallab continues to tour with Sinkane in support of last year's beguiling Afro-funk gem Mean Love. I ask if the songs have taken on new incarnations live over the course of the year. "Yeah we've definitely started jamming more on some, making them longer... the Atomic Bomb shows probably influenced that."

The band hasn't yet started thinking too much about new music, though 2016 looks likely to be focused on that. Before that Gallab wants to tour more, and he would like to play a gig in his native Sudan, "it's something we're trying to arrange... it's something I'd like to do." I ask if he knows how people in Sudan react to their music, "I think they like it... Most probably don't know about it yet, but I have family out there and if we played a gig there would definitely be a good crowd." I ask if he expected a different kind of atmosphere in Sudan, "yeah maybe, but there are amazing atmospheres everywhere; we just played a crazy gig in Croatia, and one in Mexico that stands out."

I let Gallab go as I know he has a lot to get back to. After we hang up all I feel is frustrated that I won't be able to go to either of his performances at Meltdown, in just speaking to the man I can tangibly feel the dedication and fervour he puts into his music and I know without doubt that he will bring a carnival, party atmosphere to all of his performances. It's something not to be missed.

Sinkane plays the Meltdown festival on August 17th and the Atomic Bomb! show is on August 20th. There are still tickets available for both shows at Southbank Centre's website. Sinkane releases a 12" of remixes by Peaking Lights called Mean Dub on August 21st through City Slang.