Zakes Bantwini Dishes On His Grammy Nomination, Performing At The Qatar FIFA World Cup And His Upcoming Homecoming Performance At Ballito BIG Week

Zakes Bantwini Dishes On His Grammy Nomination, Performing At The Qatar FIFA World Cup And His Upcoming Homecoming Performance At Ballito BIG Week
Zakes Bantwini

It’s been a massive year for Zakes Bantwini. The superstar was responsible for the smash hit ‘Osama’, which has been one of the biggest South African tracks of the past 12 months, and his fresh approach to African music has cemented his status as a dance music juggernaut.

2022 has certainly been a momentous year in Zakes’ career. He walked away with his first South African Music Award earlier this year for the first time in his illustrious career. ‘Osama’, featuring Kasango, took home the Samro Highest Radio Airplay Composers award as well as Best Collaboration at this year’s ceremony.

Additionally, Zakes Bantwini is still on a high after scoring his first-ever Grammy nomination. The star is nominated alongside Wouter Kellerman and Nomcebo Zikode for their collaboration ‘Bayethe’ in the Best Global Music Performance category.

To celebrate this iconic period in his career, which includes a performance at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, Zakes is planning an exciting homecoming show in Ballito on 1 January 2023 as part of the Ballito BIG Week music festival. The performance will showcase his full on stage experience supported by his band, alongside his industry peers and friends like Sun-El Musician, Tresor, Musa Keys, Msaki and Shekhinah.

As he reflects on the past year and a half, Zakes opens up about his illustrious career, the impact the past few months have had on him, his exciting homecoming performance, what 2023 has in store for him and so much more.

Congratulations on your Grammy nomination! What does a moment like this mean for your career?

Thank you so much! For almost every musician across the globe, this type of recognition is everything! It has always been a dream to see myself nominated for a Grammy and it’s an amazing feeling. I feel deeply honoured. 

How does it make you feel seeing proudly African music being so accepted and welcomed by the world stage?

Naturally, it’s a good feeling. I love it! We, as South Africans, make incredible music which deserves a global audience and I am thrilled to see the impact African music has had around the globe.

Why do you think Afrobeats has become such a massive genre right now? 

Afrobeats is undeniable! You can barely help but to dance – it’s so good! I do think that social media platforms have also played a massive role in carrying this genre across the globe, helping it reach spaces it ordinarily wouldn’t have before. It’s certainly an exciting moment for African music.

Your live performances are amazing. What elements of a live show is important for you when you perform?

I love to connect with my audience every chance I get. Whether it be through teaching them a new dance on stage or helping them learn the lyrics to my songs. It just adds a personal touch. I love bringing that into my live performance and that connection really creates a magical moment on stage.

The festive season is full of live shows. Which show are you really excited to play?

Almost every single show I wholeheartedly look forward to. For me, it’s an opportunity to introduce myself and my sound to possibly someone who has never heard of me or my music before. However, I am especially looking forward to playing in Qatar at the 2022 FIFA World Cup and at the upcoming Ballito BIG Week festival as this will be my homecoming show. I love playing on home ground the most as this is where it all began for me.

What does 2023 have in store for you?

2023 is filled with more opportunity for me to share new music with the world, release my new album, step onto more world stages and create fruitful partnerships with world-class brands. Stay tuned!

For fans wanting to celebrate Zakes Bantwini’s homecoming performance at Ballito BIG Week with support acts Sun-El Musician, Tresor, Musa Keys, Msaki and Shekhinah, tickets are available at from just R200.