Bantu Biography: Early Life | Influences | Music Career | Achievements
Bantu is a Los Angeles-based, Zimbabwe-born singer, rapper, and producer who mixes electronic club sounds with hip-hop and bright African and reggae rhythms.
He has written and produced for some of the world’s biggest artists, such as Jason Derulo, Maroon 5, J Balvin, Camilla Cabello, Tove Styrke, Rita Ora, Lauv and Chris Brown. He is also a Grammy nominee.
Bantu Biography: Early Life and Influences
Bantu was born in Harare, Zimbabwe, in 1988. His full name is Tinashe Sibanda. He grew up listening to different genres of music, such as reggae, dancehall, hip-hop, R&B, pop, rock, and Afrobeat.
He was inspired by artists like Bob Marley, Fela Kuti, Michael Jackson, Dr Dre, Timbaland, Pharrell Williams, and Kanye West. He started making beats on his computer when he was 12 years old and taught himself how to play guitar, piano, drums, and bass.
Bantu Career and International Collaborations
Bantu moved to Los Angeles in 2010 to pursue his music career. He soon established himself as a sought-after songwriter and producer for various artists across different genres. Some of his notable credits include:
- Co-writing and co-producing Jason Derulo’s hit song “Tip Toe” featuring French Montana in 2017.
- Co-writing and co-producing Rita Ora’s single “Your Song” in 2017.
- Co-writing and co-producing J Balvin’s smash hit “Mi Gente” featuring Willy William in 2017.
- Co-writing and co-producing Maroon 5’s song “What Lovers Do” featuring SZA in 2017.
- Co-writing and co-producing Camila Cabello’s song “Into It” in 2018.
Co-writing and co-producing A$AP Rocky’s song “Praise the Lord (Da Shine)” featuring Skepta in 2018.
- Co-writing and co-producing Pitbull’s song “Quiero Saber” featuring Prince Royce and Ludacris in 2018.
- Co-writing and co-producing Chris Brown’s song “Undecided” in 2019.
- Co-writing and co-producing Lauv’s song “Sad Forever” in 2019.
- Co-writing and co-producing Tove Styrke’s song “Mistakes” in 2020.
Bantu Solo Career
Bantu also launched his own solo career as a singer and rapper in 2016. He released his debut single, “Holiday”, in 2016, followed by several other singles such as “Roll with Me”, “Jackie Chan”, “Juice”, “Stretch”, and “Leaving”.
His music showcases his diverse influences and his ability to blend different sounds and cultures.
In 2020, Bantu collaborated with fellow Zimbabwean producer Dr Chaii on the EP Coming to America, Vol.1. The EP features six songs that explore the themes of identity, culture, migration, and belonging.
Bantu In Movie Soundtracks
- Bantu co-wrote and co-produced “Familia” by Anuel AA and Nicki Minaj, which was part of the animated movie Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse in 2018. The movie won multiple awards, including an Oscar, a Golden Globe, and a BAFTA. The soundtrack, whose production Bantu was part of, bagged a Grammy nomination in 2019.
- Bantu’s productions are featured in series and films like Boomerang on BET, Florida Girls, On My Block on Netflix, Fast & Furious 8, After We Collided, and P-Valley.
Bantu In Game Soundtracks
- Bantu co-wrote and co-produced “Jackie Chan”, which was part of the FIFA 19 soundtrack in 2018. The song is a collaboration with fellow Zimbabwean producer Dr Chaii.
- Bantu wrote and performed “Leaving”, which was part of the FIFA 21 soundtrack in 2020. He performed the song at the FIFA 21 World Premiere virtual festival, where he shared the stage with artists like Dua Lipa and Diplo.
- Bantu wrote and performed “Bantu Maximizer”, which is the theme song of the upcoming video game Bantu Maximizer in 2022. The game is a sci-fi adventure that follows the exploits of Bantu, a futuristic hero who uses his music to fight against evil forces.