Up Next: Bantu

Words by Charles Odugbesan

Props to you if you had already known or heard of Zimbabwe’s rising star musician; Bantu. If so, your musical know-how is profound to say the least! But please, allow me to enlighten those unaware. Allow me to describe how, in just a few short years, the talent of a young man born in Southern Africa has gained global notoriety, and why we feel obliged to consider Bantu as Up Next!

So why is Bantu Up Next? Well lets work our way through the checklist to gain a clearer understanding:

Raw Talent?

Not only is Bantu’s talent raw, but it’s multi-faceted. Bantu is a singer, rapper and producer, able to create within his music a unique blend of electronic, dance pop, Hip-Hop and afro beat styles. As a result, Bantu is able to make the kind of music that mirrors his own personality perfectly; bright, exuberant, colourful and energetic. CHECK!

“It’s about who you know, not what you know”

Since relocating to Los Angeles to further pursue his musical career, Bantu now boasts a fine selection of renowned and high profile collaborations on his CV. The young star boasts collaborations with DJ Jonas Blue, Shungudzo and Zie Zie, Dr Chaii and DaniLeigh. He has also written and produced for a host of household names like Jason Derulo, French Montana, ASAP Rocky, Maroon 5, Camilla Cabello, J Balvin, Rita Ora and Chris Brown. Now that’s pedigree… CHECK!

Commercial/streaming success?

Although Bantu has only one official body of work out to date, Africa for the Summer (2017), his selection of singles have enjoyed an encouraging level of success. His 2018 hit Jackie Chan has notched up over 5 million streams on Spotify, over 1 million. on Apple Music and 2 million views on Youtube. His other big single Roll With Me again reached the 5 million mark on Spotify, with 612,000+ Apple Music plays and 1.1 million Youtube views. CHECK!

Crossover appeal?

Bantu’s music has garnered such popularity and acclaim that it has made an impression in other fields of entertainment. With the release of his latest single Leaving, it marks his second appearance on the official Fifa Soundtrack. An attentive ear will recognise Jackie Chan from the FIFA 19 Soundtrack. Leaving was revealed as a song on the soundtrack for the new game at the FIFA 21 World Premiere Virtual Show. Elsewhere, his 2017 release Roll With Me features on the Netflix hit series On My Block and his feature on the Grammy nominated single Familia with Nicki Minaj made the cut for Spiderman: Into The Spider-Verse (2018). Now that’s noteriety… CHECK!

Satisfied? When asked to speak on his new release Leaving, Bantu had this to say: “The story for this song was inspired by the idea of losing somebody special. I think sometimes we get complacent and only realise how much somebody means to us when they say they’re out.” But contrary to the inspiration, “I wanted to make a fun, colourful, relatable video.”

Make sure you pick up on Bantu and listen to his new single Leaving here


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.