The music band BANTU has announced it will release a 10-track album titled, What’s Your Breaking Point on Friday, June 9.
In a statement by its leader, Adegoke Odukoya, aka Ade Bantu, on Thursday, the band said the album is a social commentary on the state of the nation amid the uncertainties Nigerians grapple with, and endure, daily.
“Titled ‘What is your breaking point?’ The rhetorical question aims to provoke a series of thoughts on Nigerians’ living conditions and encourage Nigerians to ask questions and probe developments in the past and present to arrive at tangible answers for a better future,” the statement read.
The Nigerian-German musician added that ‘What is your breaking point?’ calls for retrospection and prompts an in-depth reflection on the hard realities of our livelihood and survival as a nation.”
Speaking further, the music producer and social activist said every song on ‘What Is Your Breaking Point?’ spreads its own bit of Nigerian stardust over its listeners.”
The 10-track long player is the third in a genre and era-defining trilogy of releases, including 2017’s Agberos International and 2020’s Everybody Get Agenda.
BANTU, a 13-piece band based in Lagos, Nigeria, focuses their craft on a fusion of Afrofunk, Afrobeat, highlife and Yoruba music. The group features multi-instrumentalists and singers who perform as a collective.
With this new album, the BANTU collective pushes the boundaries of funkiness and political prowess even further than its predecessors.
It is also the first to feature a female guest lead, in this case, the renowned African American rapper, Akua Naru.
Ade Bantu continues, “As the unprecedented #EndSARS protests against police brutality and criminality began alongside the COVID-19 pandemic, Nigerians have finally reached the breaking point. In this sense, ‘What is your breaking point?’ is as much a statement as a question, forcing the listener to pay attention to the changes in politics and the evolution of music in Africa’s most populous and culturally important country from a global perspective.
“In this regard, each song opens a rich tapestry of sounds, lyrics and narrative that weave together a compelling, angry yet hopeful vision of Nigeria and, by extension, Africa and its possible futures.
“Exploring the album, the first track, ‘Wayo and Division,” focuses on the deceit that’s at the heart of Nigerian politics and social life. Referring to how successive governments have used tribe and religion to divide people while elites share the loot, they have stolen from the commonwealth. Since they don’t care about tribe or religion, neither should we, the song argues. So we should stop being hoodwinked and falling for their deceit and being led to the slaughter like lambs, but instead, come together and face the corruption head on, as happened with the #EndSARS protest.”
Aside from recording and composing music, BANTU has been credited with the recent revival of the live music scene in Nigeria through Afropolitan Vibes, a monthly concert series and music festival that they have been hosting for most of the last decade in Lagos.
The show has featured over 190 top Nigerian and international acts and was voted “one of the world’s best music events of the moment.”
Ade Bantu and his eponymous 13-piece band remain active more than 26 years after its founding and, without exception, is one of the pioneering outfits and conceptual recording artistes in Africa, Europe and indeed the world.
‘What is your breaking point?’ is produced by Aman Junaid and Ade Bantu. It was mixed by Manu Schlindwein and mastered by Tony Dawsey.