Adé Bantu

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Adegoke Odukoya
Also known as Adé Bantu
Born (1971-07-13) 13 July 1971 (age 43)
Wembley, England
Genres Afrofunk, Afrobeat, Fuji, Rap, Dancehall
Occupation(s) Musician, producer
Years active 1989–present

Adegoke Odukoya, better known as Adé Bantu (born 13 July 1971 in Wembley, London), 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[1][2] He received the Kora Award (the Pan-African equivalent of the Grammy) for his album "Fuji Satisfaction" in 2005.

Early life[edit]

Adé Bantu was born in Wembley, London. He is biracial, being the son of a German mother and a Nigerian father.[3] In 1973 he relocated to Lagos, Nigeria with his parents Adeleke Odukoya and Barbara Odukoya. After the death of his father in 1986 he moved with his mother and 3 siblings to Germany.

Musical career[edit]

Attracted by Germany's emerging hiphop movement Adé Bantu joined the hiphop group Exponential Enjoyment with Goldlover D (Sini Demir), Double A (Mola Adebisi) and General GG (Götz Gottschalk) in 1989. He used the alias and stage name "Duke T".

Their single "Think for a Moment/Style Introduction"(Tan Tric 12") is the 3rd German hiphop release (1989). They went on to produce the first multilingual hiphop album in Germany titled "Chop or Quench" (1993). It featured the pioneer German hiphop crew Advanced Chemistry. This was followed by a freejazz hiphop album with Peter Kowald, Sainko Namtchylak and Peter Brötzmann titled Expo's Jazz & Joy" (1993).

In 1993 he was approached by Fonk Free aka Moreno (Oliver Freyman) and DJ An-dré (André Schröter) and together they founded the band 'Weep Not Child' releasing "From Hoyerswerda to Rostock" (Buback Records, 1993) and "Liberation thru Music & Lyrics" (Groove Attack, 1994). Their music clip "Je Ka Bere" was featured in the European campaign of Media Against Racism.

In 1998 Adé was invited by Jan Ü Krauthaeuser to participate in the Cologne alternative carnival organisation "Humba e.V.". This led to a musical project with his brother Don Abi (Abiodun Odukoya), Patrice and Amechi (Amechinna Okerenkwo) that would take him back to his Nigeria roots. Bantu aka Brotherhood Alliance Navigating Towards Unity was born. He officially changed his stage name to Adé (later to Adé Bantu after his 2005 album release). Bantu's debut album "Fufu" became an instant success in Nigeria earning them two radio hit singles "Nzobu" & "Fire Inna Dancehall". In 2000 after a wave of racist motivated violent attacks on foreigners which climaxed in the killing of Alberto Adriano, Adé Bantu set up the Afro-German musical collective Brothers Keepers. Their song "Adriano (die letzte Warnung)" (Adriano the final warning) was released in 2001. It became an anti racism anthem selling well over 220,000 copies and making it to the Top 5 of the German pop charts. An album titled "Lightkultur" was released as well as a Sisters Keepers single "Liebe und Verstand" (Love & Understanding). "Adriano (die Letzte Warnung)" was awarded the 'Eins Live Radio Award' for "Best Single of the year 2001".

In 2003 Adé Bantu, his brother Don Abi 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 2005 Adé Bantu once again assembled Brothers Keepers for a second musical venture. Broadened by many Turkish, Italian, Swedish and German artists their album "Am I My Brothers Keeper?" went far beyond the success of its predecessor, directing rousing statements, biographical insights and critical irony at German society. He released "Fuji Satisfaction" an eclectic mix of Fuji, hiphop, Dancehall, Afrofunk and Afrobeat that featured Nigerian Fuji singer Adewale Ayuba in 2005. It won critical acclaim and the Kora Awards as "Best Group West Africa" and "Best Group Africa" 2005. This amongst other things promoted his move back to Lagos, Nigeria. He worked with the BBC in 2005 on the "Africa Connection" project with South African vocalist Thandiswa Mazwai, Senegalese singer Cheik Lo & Guinean Kora Player Sekou Kouyate recording "Caution (Beware)".

In 2006 he performed with Afrobeat Academy Band during the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany. He has collaborated and toured with Tony Allen and Seun Kuti. Ade Bantu resides in Nigeria.

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[4][5] In 2012, Bantu released a new single "Oya Oya", which is available for free download[6][7] on the official website. Currently Bantu is putting finishing touches to his 5th studio album.[8][9]

Adé Bantu is the creator of Afropolitan vibes a live music concert series which holds at Freedom Park Lagos Island[10]

TV / Cinema appearances[edit]

Bantu was featured in the cinema documentary "Yes I Am", a documentary on Afro Germans directed by Sven Halfar. He also appeared in an episode of German soap Lindenstrasse (Episode 710).

Ade Bantu appeared in Harry Belafonte's documentary film Sing Your Song[11] In 2012, Bantu joined the panel of judges of Project Fame West Africa, a music TV reality show.[12][13]

Politics & Activism[edit]

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. He was invited by German minister of foreign affairs Frank-Walter Steinmeier on his first official visit to Africa in August 2007. He participated at the Partnership for Africa Forum hosted by German president Horst Kohler in November 2007. Adé Bantu and his Afrobeat Academy Band have partaken in intercultural exchange programmes with Goethe Institute and the German ministry of foreign affairs giving concerts and workshops in Ghana, Uganda, Tanzania and Nigeria. He was awarded the Nordrhein Westphalia Cultural Prize in 1997 for the Hiphop musical "Coloured Children" a piece he wrote and co-directed with Anita Berger. Adé Bantu has been in the forefront of the debate against the use of the N-word in Germany. He initiated a petition (with Brothers Keepers) against German Rapper B-Tight's album "Neger, Neger" (Nigger, Nigger) in 2007.

Adé Bantu is the co-founder and creative director of BornTroWay a community arts project targeted at disadvantaged youths in major African cities. The project was lunched in Ajegunle, Lagos in 2011[14]

Trivia[edit]

Adé Bantu was a radio host at Deutsche Welle. He hosted "Good Morning Africa" from 1997–2000. He co-directed Nigerian-German hip hop/soul singer Nneka's video "Africans"

Discography[edit]

With Exponential Enjoyment[edit]

  • 1989 Style Introduction-12 inch (Tantric/VeraBra Rec)
  • 1993 Chop or Quench (Deep 6 Rec)
  • 1993 Expo's Jazz & Joy (VeraBra Records)

With Weep Not Child[edit]

  • 1993 From Hoyerswerda To Rostock (Buback Records)
  • 1994 Liberation Thru Music & Lyrics
  • 1998 Goal ( 12" Chlodwig/BMG)

With Bantu[edit]

  • 1999 Fufu (Kennis Music Nigeria)
  • 2004 Bantu (Nitty Gritty Music/ Rough Trade)
  • 2005 Fuji Satisfaction (Piranha Rec)
  • 2008 Bantu (X3M Music, Nigeria)
  • 2011 No man stands alone[15][16]

With Brothers Keepers[edit]

  • 2001 Adriano-Single(WEA Rec)
  • 2001 Lightkultur (WEA Rec)
  • 2005 Bereit- Single(Sony)
  • 2005 Am I My Brothers Keeper?"(Sony)

Collaborations[edit]

  • 1990 "Kickin The Facts" (from LSD album "Watchout for the 3rd Rail")
  • 1994 "Keep in Line & Sunshine" (from Di Iries self-titled album)
  • 1995 "Late Night" (from Reiner Witzel's "Passage to the ear")
  • 1995 "Illusion" (from Kastrierte Philosophen album "Soldier")
  • 1996 "Polyglot Poets" (from Advanced Chemistry's self-titled album)
  • 1997 "The Message" (from Two Step Forward project)
  • 1997 "Colonial Mentality" (from Schäl Sick Brass Band album "Majnoun")
  • 1999 "Tschupun"(from Schäl Sick Brass Band album "Tschupun")
  • 2000 "Maza Meze" (from Schäl Sick Brass Band album "Maza Meze")
  • 2002 "Rubber Dub" (from Schäl Sick Brass Band album "Kesh Mesh")
  • 2003 "Rudie (Hold It Down)" (UB40 single featuring Gentleman & Don Abi)
  • 2006 "Odolayé" (from "Lagos Stori Plenti" sampler featuring Dede, Mode9 & Azadus)

Cinema[edit]

Halfer Sven, "Yes I Am" Brothers Keepers documentary on DVD, Arthouse 2007

References[edit]

  1. ^ Offiong, Adie Vanessa (26 April 2014). "I never got a kobo for my Kora prize – Ade Bantu". Weekly Trust newspaper (Lagos, Nigeria). Retrieved 25 November 2014. 
  2. ^ OLUWADAHUNSI, OLAWALE (27 June 2014). "Nigerian music industry should engage our past –Ade Bantu". National Mirror (Lagos, Nigeria). Retrieved 25 November 2014. 
  3. ^ Interview with Adé Bantu at RockPaperScissors.biz
  4. ^ Agbede, Terh (11 November 2011). "Bantu: Exhibiting talent, energy, benevolence". National Mirror (Lagos, Nigeria). Retrieved 18 September 2012. 
  5. ^ "Ade Bantu – Surprising Europe". Al Jazeera English (Doha, Qatar). 8 August 2011. Retrieved 18 September 2012. 
  6. ^ Ben-Nwankwo, Nonye (15 September 2012). "Artistes pay to have their works pirated – Ade Bantu". The Punch (Lagos, Nigeria). Retrieved 18 September 2012. 
  7. ^ "New Bantu single "Oya Oya"". Adé Bantu. Retrieved 18 September 2012. 
  8. ^ Opurum, Nkechi (22 August 2012). "BANTU releases new single, 'Oya Oya'". Daily Times (Lagos, Nigeria). Retrieved 18 September 2012. 
  9. ^ "Bantu, Ice Prince drop hot singles". National Mirror (Lagos, Nigeria). 31 August 2012. Retrieved 18 September 2012. 
  10. ^ Mark, Monica (29 July 2014). "West Africa Afrobeat uprising musicians Afropop big-band political spirit". The Guardian (London, United Kingdom). Retrieved 25 November 2014. 
  11. ^ http://singyoursongthemovie.com/sing-your-song-cast-members/
  12. ^ Opurum, Nkechi (2 August 2012). "Ade Bantu joins MTN project fame". Daily Times (Lagos, Nigeria). Retrieved 18 September 2012. 
  13. ^ Alonge, Osagie (9 August 2012). "Kwame and Nomoreloss leave Project Fame West Africa". Nigerian Entertainment Today (Lagos, Nigeria). Retrieved 18 September 2012. 
  14. ^ Opurum, Nkechi (12 August 2012). "BornTroWay Project empowers youths through arts". Daily Times of Nigeria (Lagos, Nigeria). Retrieved 25 November 2014. 
  15. ^ Agbede, Terh (11 November 2011). "Bantu: Exhibiting talent, energy, benevolence". National Mirror (Lagos, Nigeria). Retrieved 18 September 2012. 
  16. ^ "Ade Bantu – Surprising Europe". Al Jazeera English (Doha, Qatar). 8 August 2011. Retrieved 18 September 2012. 

Sources[edit]

English Sources:

Publications in German:

  • Loh Hannes & Güngör Murat (2002). Fear of A Kanak Planet. Hannibal Verlag, Austria
  • Verlan Sascha & Loh Hannes (2000). 20 Jahre Hiphop in Deutschland. Hannibal Verlag, Austria
  • Kreide-Damani Ingrid (1996). 101 Nationen einer Stadt. Dumont Verlag, Germany
  • Schergel Frank (2002). Ohne Musik ist quasi alles lau.Verlag Kiepenheuer & Witsch, Germany

External links[edit]