The great Bantwini to hang up his solo boots




African News Agency


WEEKS may have passed since South African musician Zakes Bantwini picked up a stupendous Grammy Award, but the 42 year old admits it still hasn’t sunk in. “I’ve just been so busy and so active, which I love, but I don’t think I’ve taken the time to let it sink in. Maybe when the Academy delivers the physical award it’ll finally sink in that we did it.” Bantwini, together with SA musicians Wouter Kellerman and Nomcebo Zikode, made history last month when they received the biggest honour in music for their hit Bayethe at the 65th annual Grammy Awards ceremony at the Los Angeles Arena. Bantwini says winning a Grammy is a special feeling. “This is the most prestigious award in music globally. It was a huge honour. I’m proud of the work Wouter, Nomcebo and I put into this song, and it’s extremely satisfying to see how far it’s taken us.” But Bantwini didn’t take much time to bask in the glory. Instead, he’s had to immediately switch his focus to several upcoming and exciting gigs he has lined up. One of them is the Glenmorangie Experience at Konka in Soweto, which takes place tomorrow. “I’m super excited, and I just can’t wait to hit the stage. I’ll be showcasing some of my biggest hits alongside a few exclusives from my upcoming album that I haven’t played before.” The artist is keeping his playlist for tomorrow’s gig close to his chest and wouldn’t reveal much. “Come through and see what I’ve got up my sleeve,” he says as he giggles away. Bantwini says he has worked hard to stay relevant in an ever-changing music world. “I’m a true music man in every sense of the word. That’s allowed me to always adapt and keep my ear to the ground. But throughout the years I’ve also made a point of staying true to my sound. “You know what you’re going to get from a Zakes Bantwini song. There’s a feel and an energy that you get from all of my records, and I think the listener appreciates that.” Despite being in the music industry for several decades, he says he still has plenty to offer to his fans and the music world as a whole. “I’m really proud of what I’ve been able to achieve. I think I still have a lot more to offer the world of music as an artist, a producer and an executive.” Bantwini says he is immensely proud of how the South African music industry has evolved over the years. “We’ve come a very long way since I came into this industry. There’s so much beautiful music of world-class quality coming out of South Africa and the continent in general. The world is paying attention now more than ever, and I believe the best is yet to come.” Bantwini says he hopes to leave a lasting legacy when he decides to hang up his boots. “I just want to be known as someone who really cared about music. I also want my legacy to be tied to my desire and willingness to collaborate and work with other artists in the industry.” Bantwini has confirmed that he plans to retire from his solo career soon. “I’m retiring as a solo act after my upcoming album, which will be titled Abantu. I will still work with and produce for artists under my own stable, Mayonie. But as far as Zakes Bantwini, the artist, this is it for me. It’s going to be my best work yet.”