Adegoke Odukoya, better known as Ade Bantu is a Nigerian-German musician, producer, and social activist who is the frontman of the 13 piece band BANTU and the creator of the monthly concert series and music Festival Afropolitan Vibes which holds in Lagos, Nigeria. Ade Bantu is also the founder of the Afro-German musical collective brothers Keepers. His band BANTU received the Kora Award (the Pan-African equivalent of the Grammy) for their album Fuji Satisfaction in 2005.
Ade Bantu Biography
Ade Bantu was born in Wembley, London. He is biracial, being the son of a German mother and a Nigerian father.
In 1973, he relocated to Lagos, Nigeria with his parents Barbara Odukoya and Adeleke Odukoya. After the death of his father in 1986, he moved with his mother and 3 siblings to Germany. He is the elder brother of musician Abiodun.
Attracted by Germany’s emerging hip-hop movement Ade Bantu joined the Hiphop group Exponential Enjoyment with Goldlover D (Sini Demir), Double-A (Mola Adebisi) and General GG (Götz Gottschalk) in 1989. He used the alias and stage name “Duke T”.
Their single “Think for a Moment/Style Introduction”(Tan Tric 12”) is the 3rd German hiphop release (1989). They went on to produce the first multilingual Hip-hop album in Germany titled “Chop or Quench” (1993). It featured the pioneer German hiphop crew Advanced Chemistry. This was followed by a Free Jazz Hiphop album in 1993 with Peter Kowald, Sainkho Namtchylak and Peter Brötzmann titled “Expo’s Jazz & Joy”.
In 1993 he was approached by Fonk Free aka Moreno (Oliver Freyman) and DJ An-dré (André Schröter) and together they founded the band “Weep Not Child’ releasing “From Hoyerswerda to Rostock” (Buback Records, 1993) and “Liberation thru Music & Lyrics” (Groove Attack, 1994). Their music clip “Je Ka Bere” was featured in the European campaign of Media Against Racism.
In 1996 Ade was invited by Jan Ü Krauthaeuser to contribute to the Cologne Carnival music compilation “Humba 2”. This led to the formation of the band BANTU with his brother Abiodun aka Don Abi, Patrice and Amechi (Amechinna Okerenkwo). He officially changed his stage name to Ade (later to Ade Bantu after BANTU’s 2005 album release). BANTU’s debut album “Fufu” became an instant success in Nigeria earning them two radio hit singles “Nzobu” & “Fire Inna Dancehall”. In 2000 after a wave of racist motivated violent attacks on foreigners which climaxed in the killing of Alberto Adriano, Adé Bantu set up the Afro-German musical collective Brothers Keepers. Their song “Adriano (die letzte Warnung)” (Adriano the final warning) was released in 2001. It became an anti racism anthem selling well over 220,000 copies and making it to the Top 5 of the German pop charts. An album titled “Lightkultur” was released as well as a Sisters Keepers single “Liebe und Verstand” (Love & Understanding).
In 2003 Ade Bantu, his brother Abiodun and German reggae singer Gentleman recorded the single “Rudie (Hold It Down)” together with UB40. In 2004 he released his group BANTU’s much anticipated European debut album “Bantu”. The album featured Don Abi, Sly Dunbar, Positive Black Soul and Pee Froiss from Senegal.
In 2005 Ade Bantu once again assembled Brothers Keepers for a second musical venture. Broadened by many Turkish, Italian, Swedish and German artists their album “Am I My Brothers Keeper?” went far beyond the success of its predecessor, directing rousing statements, biographical insights and critical irony at German society. With BANTU he released “Fuji Satisfaction” an eclectic mix of Fuji, hiphop, Dancehall, Afrofunk and Afrobeat that featured Nigerian Fuji singer Adewale Ayuba in 2005. It won critical acclaim and the Kora Awards as “Best Group West Africa” and “Best Group Africa” 2005. This amongst other things promoted his move back to Lagos, Nigeria.
In 2006 he performed with the Afrobeat Academy Band during the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany. He has collaborated and toured with Tony Allen and Seun Kuti. In 2011 Ade Bantu’s group BANTU released “No Man Stands Alone” an album of collaborations that was mostly recorded in Nigeria. The album featured Highlife music legend Fatai Rolling Dollar, Sound Sultan, and Nigerian-German singer Nneka
Ade Bantu is the creator of Afropolitan Vibes a live music concert series & annual music festival that features alternative music acts alongside Nigerian and African music legends
The 13 piece BANTU collective released Agberos International in 2017. The 10 track album was produced by Aman Junaid. It features Tony Allen and Nigerian spoken word poetess Wana Wana. In September 2020 BANTU released “Everybody get Agenda” a long-player that showcases the band’s tightly knit horn section accompanied by driving rhythms and socio-political lyrics that address issues of police brutality, corruption, urban alienation, xenophobia, and migration. The album also features Afrobeat artiste Seun Kuti on the song “Yeye Theory”