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Zakes Bantwini Set to Host South Africa's First-Ever Drive-in-Concert.

Zakes Bantwini Set to Host South Africa's First-Ever Drive-in-Concert

South African musician Zakes Bantwini wants local artists to find new ways of performing amid COVID-19 and has set his sights on hosting the country's first ever drive-in-concert.

South African artist Zakes Bantwini, real name Zakhele Madida, is on a mission to find new ways for local artists to make a living amid the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. While the South African film and television industry has resumed with strict regulations in place, artists are still trying to figure out how to make a living outside of just online performances—some of which have not been paying gigs. As a result, Zakes Bantwini says that he's currently working on hosting the country's first-ever drive-in-concert.


While the concept of drive-in-concerts is not a new one and is quite prevalent in Europe and the US, it has never caught on in South Africa. However, that may be changing in the near future as the music industry looks for more creative ways of adjusting to a new COVID-19 era.

READ: Here's How Artists are Navigating the World of Music Amid the Coronavirus Outbreak

Speaking about his proposed drive-in-concert, Zakes Bantwini says, "Look, this hasn't been done before in SA, so we're going to work closer with our government on how we can stage a safe concert while promoting social distancing, teaching people about the COVID-19 pandemic, [and] the importance of wearing a mask." He also adds that, "We are still in negotiation with the proposed line-up, as you know a date has to be there first in order for the contracts to be signed which is what the proposed artists are waiting for. The first one will be in Durban, next one will be Johannesburg and then Cape Town. We're very excited about this, you'll hear about it soon."

While there have been calls for the government to do more to help artists during the continued national lockdown and social distancing measures, there is still considerable uncertainty for many.

South Africa has been on a national lockdown for over a month now although some of the lockdown restrictions have been eased in the past week. The total number of coronavirus cases stands at 25 937 with 552 reported deaths and over half-a-million tests conducted across the country thus far.

Interview

Interview: Omah Lay Is Nigeria's New Young Act to W​atch

We sit down with the rising Port Harcourt-born musician to talk about his latest EP, Get Layd.

Omah Lay's music is at once introspective and hedonistic, matched with the vibrancy of alt-pop production, sometimes crafted by the artist himself. The Nigerian act, who released his debut EP, Get Layd, earlier this year has been described as wielding the "lyricism of Burna Boy and the melodies of Wizkid."

Omah Lay's grandfather played in Celestine Ukwu's highlife band; his father played the drums too. Being put through his paces in Nigeria's South region—specifically Port Harcourt—supplies the grit to Omah's velvety singing. The starkness of the world he inhabits is a wonder and his lyrics are too. Phrases like "You dun burst my eyeglass" and "Omo she be SARS and she carry full van" are a cultural stamp, a burst out of the ordinary for listeners, many of whom now declare Omah Lay as "special."

Following the validating reception of singles "You" and "Bad Influence," Omah Lay shared the Get Layd EP on May 22. Including just three new songs might have posed a gamble and not defined his sound well enough, but the musician shattered those judgements. Omah Lay is a gifted artist and has the uncanny ability to exist in his space, even when circling around the afro-fusion tag that has seen a recent rise in adaptability.

Below, Omah Lay speaks to OkayAfrica about his Get Layd EP, coming to Lagos, and more.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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