As the music industry gears up for the biggest event of the year, the Grammy Awards, South African music icon Zakes Bantwini has jetted off to the awards ceremony in LA. The Osama hitmaker has been nominated for a Grammy in the category Best Global Music Performance, a nomination he shares with Nomcebo Zikode and Wouter Kellerman for their single, Bayethe. The award is presented to recording artists who have demonstrated excellence in the burgeoning field of global music.
“I’m delighted – and very proud – to have been nominated for this award,” says Zakes, “especially as it recognises music that has its roots in indigenous traditions.” Zakes and his promotional team from Grid Worldwide, a specialist agency that builds brands by giving them meaning, have a packed schedule ahead for him. As part of the weeklong festivities that precede the Grammys, the organisers will be hosting a number of talks and discussion sessions dealing with the global music business and trends in global music. These will include a renowned series of panel discussions called Backstage Pass, which gives aspirant music industry stars a glimpse into life backstage and what it is like to work in the music industry.
Zakes will be taking part in a panel discussion on the latest developments in global music, which will be hosted by Grid Worldwide Joint CEO, Adam Byars, and will feature SA music radio host, TBO Touch; Bathu Sneakers founder and businessman, Theo Baloyi; and IMG Africa Business partner and Zakes Manager, Sibo Mhlungu. “This is a great moment for all of us,” says Adam, “and a great moment for South African music. Indigenous music from countries around the world is finally being recognised for the vital role it’s always had to play in popular music.”
Adam, who has worked in many countries around the world and brings with him an in-depth understanding of cultural nuances and complexities is dedicated to facilitating the growth of the South African music industry, especially through his work with the global music and entertainment platform, the 608 Festival. “The Global Music Panel Discussion will shine an all-important light on the South African music industry and its future just as global music shifts gear and moves into an entirely different dimension. Not only will it inform the way the world sees the South African music industry, it will also deliver unique insights into future trends, up-and-coming artists to look out for, and the place global music has to play as a category that defies definition.”
Sibo Mhlungu of IMG Africa concludes, “I’m humbled by the success Bantwini has achieved and by the role he’s playing in bringing local music to the global stage. And, of course, I want to see him holding his very own Grammy up high”.