I’ve admired Ade Bantu from afar since I was a child. Growing up in the twilight years of the military era in Nigeria, musicians and artists such as himself were our superheroes. Things were a bit different back then. There was no bling. There were no glossy music videos or fast cars. And there was no social media to push your message. It was just music about a people’s struggle with it’s past and the uncertainty of the future. This contrast in times and interests forms the bulk with our interview with Ade Bantu, as he discusses with us the importance of ‘message’ in music and the current state of the entertainment scene in Nigeria.
Hit play on the video above to watch the full interview. Scroll down for some more info about Ade Bantu and his accomplishments.
ON ADE BANTU
Adegoke Odukoya, better known as Adé Bantu was born 13 July 1971 in Wembley, London. He is a Nigerian-German musician, producer and activist. He is best known as the founder of the Afro-German musical collective and NGO Brothers Keepers and as the front man of the 12 piece band Bantu.
He received the Kora Award (the Pan-African equivalent of the Grammy) for his album “Fuji Satisfaction” in 2005.
In 2003 Adé Bantu, his brother Abiodun and German reggae singer Gentleman recorded the single “Rudie (Hold It Down)” together with UB40. In 2004 he released his much anticipated European debut album “Bantu”. The album featured Don Abi, Sly Dunbar, Positive Black Soul and Pee Froiss from Senegal.
In 2011 Ade Bantu released “No Man Stands Alone” an album of collaborations which was mostly recorded in Nigeria. The album featured Highlife music legend Fatai Rolling Dollar, Sound Sultan and Nigerian-German singer Nneka. In 2012, Bantu released a new single “Oya Oya”, which is available for free download on the official website. Currently Bantu is putting finishing touches to his 5th studio album.
Adé Bantu is the creator of Afropolitan vibes a live music concert series which holds at Freedom Park Lagos Island.
Adé Bantu is politically active. He is the founder of Brothers Keepers e.V. an NGO affiliated with the Brothers Keepers musical project. They visit schools, lobby for changes in asylum and anti-discrimination laws and help victims of racist motivated attacks.
He was involved in the Anti Shell campaign in Germany and initiated the Ken Saro Wiwa week in 1997.
He continues to be an activist, lecturer and public speaker addressing racism against people of colour, AfroGermans and Africans in Germany.