BANTU (Brotherhood Alliance Navigating Towards Unity) have released a new single titled, ‘Animal Carnival’ on 29 May.
One month after their power-packed call to action song, ‘Disrupt the Programme’, their new single rings of the classic lyrics of emancipation that speak truth to power and highlight the social ills in Nigeria, combined with beats wrapped in a crisp, punchy horn section and an infectious tightly-locked groove that will make the listener dance. Bantu hit harder with ‘Animal Carnival’, as it weaves a musical narrative that explores the length and breadth of Afrobeat, Afrofunk and their Yoruba music roots.
Produced by Soledad Productions, Broken Silence and Believe Music ” ‘Animal Carnival’ poses a simple question- how does one make sense of the outlandish and insane realities of Nigeria where corruption and kleptocracy have now reached staggering new heights, with missing funds being attributed to devious acts of the supernatural?” said Ade Bantu, the Nigerian German musician, producer and social activist who is the frontman of the 13 piece band BANTU.
It puts a spotlight on the events involving creatures allegedly ingesting millions of Naira, a roguish gang of monkeys carting away public money stashed away by a senator in his farmhouse or a gorilla miraculously swallowing the entire earnings of a zoo. Even the President, a retired army General, was allegedly forced to vacate his seat and work from home because his office was infested with rodents. All this was reported on by the Nigerian media leading to public debates and internet memes.
A video directed and animated by Jonathan Irwin with the main characters illustrated by Kro Onimole, ‘Animal Carnival’ drives this point home with images of thieving animals and a reoccurring cast of bats morphing into rats and birds as the band sings the chorus line in Yoruba “Kò sẹ ékú kò sẹ ẹyẹ / Àdán ò sẹ ékú kò s’ẹyẹ (it’s not a rat, it’s not a bird, the bat is not a rat neither is it a bird), thus underscore the magical realism in which crimes against a citizenry are increasingly obscured and swept under the rug.
Known for their social commentary, BANTU decry the condescending and inhumane attitude of the ruling class and how they have systematically plummeted the masses into total submission, are turning a nation of 200 million people into a circus show where anything and everything goes.
‘Animal Carnival’ alongside its predecessor ‘Disrupt The Programme’ both set the tone for BANTU’s forthcoming album titled ‘Everybody Get Agenda’ due to be released in September.