Born in Lagos, Nigeria, he moved to Germany with his mother and siblings after his father was murdered on the streets of Lagos.
While in Germany he became a part of the emerging German hip hop movement and founded an organization called the Brotherhood Alliance Navigating Towards Unity, or BANTU to bring together Afro-German musicians like him.
Bantu has always a history of political activism. In 1997, he was involved in the Anti Shell campaign in Germany and initiated the Ken Saro Wiwa week. He has notably been at the forefront of debates against the use of the N word in Germany.
In 2005, his album, ‘Fuji Satisfaction – Soundclash in Lagos’ in which he collaborated with Fuji star Adewale Ayuba won KORA Awards for ‘Best Group West Africa’ and ‘Best Group Africa’.
His most recent album, No Man Stands Alone features Nigerian and Ghanaian musical artistes ranging from Wanlov the Kubolor to MOBO award winner, Nneka. One of the songs on Bantu’s latest album is a soundtrack to the forthcoming movie ‘Relentless’ directed by Andy Amadi Okoroafor. The movie features singer Nneka and actor Gideon Okeke.
In a recent interview with NEXT, Bantu shared some of his thoughts on the music industry, one of which inspired the title for this post:
Opinion on the Nigerian Music Industry
We do not have a music industry. What we have is a music scene. We do not have structures so it’s basically a scene. An industry makes money. While I think there’s been development in terms of audio and visual quality, what constitutes structures in terms of distribution, concerts, artiste rights and other important things is lacking. This is why artistes are often taken advantage of. For those expecting the government to develop the industry, I think that waiting on government is the wrong thing to do. It’s like a grown man still crying for milk. Your government is not interested in your welfare. Artistes need to take models that have worked elsewhere and modify it. It’s a no brainer that when you play my music, you need to pay me for it. Read the full NEXT interview here where among others he talks about his album and collaborations.
What are your thoughts on his recent opinion? Are they valid or harsh?
Bantu’s collaboration with Nneka “I’m waiting” is a CP-Africa favorite. In case you missed it, check it out below.