Zakes Bantwini on his landmark Grammy nomination: ‘We manifested this moment’

Zakes Bantwini. Picture: Instagram

Zakes Bantwini. Picture: Instagram

Published Nov 30, 2022


There’s little doubt that Zakes Bantwini is in his moment. Not only has the veteran dance DJ and producer been enjoying a career year off the back of his two mammoth hit singles, “Osama” and “Imali”, he’s also successfully launched his new company, Independent Media Group Africa (IMG Africa), with business partner and manager Sibo Mhlungu.

Now, in the ultimate culmination of this success, Bantwini recently earned his first Grammy Award nomination for “Bayethe”, his magnetic collaboration with Wouter Kellerman and Nomcebo Zikode.

“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, Bantwini recalls how they 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 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, Bantwini has already bagged two South African Music Awards (Highest Airplay and Best Collaboration) and is primed for even more glory at the coming At All Africa Music Awards (Afrimas), which are widely regarded as the premier award show on the continent. He has been nominated for several awards there, including the artist of the year gong.

Mhlungu credits this success to hard work and team effort.

“We’re all super humbled by the success that’s come these past few months,” he said.

“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.”