Zakes Bantwini is without a doubt in his prime. Along with having a fantastic career year thanks to his two massive hit singles, “Osama” and “Imali,” the seasoned dance DJ and producer has also successfully established his new company, Independent Media Group Africa (IMG Africa), alongside partner and manager Sibo Mhlungu. As the pinnacle of his achievement, Zakes recently received his first Grammy Award nomination for “Bayethe,” his captivating collaboration with Nomcebo Zikode and Wouter Kellerman.
“I was having a lunch meeting with Sibo when he got the news that we’d been nominated for a Grammy,” he recalls. “I couldn’t believe it. It was just such a beautiful moment that we’ll never forget. We put the meeting on hold and immediately called for some champagne to celebrate.”
Looking back at the process behind making the song, Zakes recalls how they specifically set out to make a song that was worthy of Grammy consideration. “When we met up with Wouter and his manager, Tholsi, at Marble a few months ago, we specifically intended to create a song that could potentially win a Grammy. We manifested it and we were very intentional about that. By God’s grace, it all just came together so beautifully. I’m so happy and proud that we were able to manifest such a special moment.”
With awards season in full swing, Zakes has already bagged two South African Music Awards (Highest Airplay and Best Collaboration) and is primed for even more glory at the upcoming At All Africa Music Awards (Afrimas), which are widely regarded as the premiere award show on the continent. He’s nominated for several awards there, including the prestigious Artist of the Year gong. Sibo credits this success to hard work and a team effort. “We’re all super humbled by the success that’s come these past few months,” he says. “It’s incredibly rewarding to know that all the time, commitment and team effort we are putting into the music is being recognised at the highest level. We can’t wait to start 2023 on a high note.”
Apart from the Grammy consideration, Zakes and the team are now looking forward to Zakes’ Mayonie Summer Block Party at The Playground, Braamfontein on Friday, which will see Zakes play host to the likes of Sun-El Musician and Shimza.