It is a mystical journey undertaken by Bantunani. The Franco-Congolese artist and musician has unveiled the clip for his new single “Lady Aicha”, to pay homage to the famous Countess Aicha Kandisha, through Afrofunk, folk and gnawa sounds.
Between legend and groove, in his new title “Lady Aicha”, Bantunani sings the myth of Aicha Kandisha. The artist gives back its letters of nobility to the accursed countess through a romantic and passionate story which finds its setting in the torrid desert of Morocco.
Surrounded by musicians from the Casablanca Conservatory and Maleem Abdenbi al Meknassi, Bantunani poses his afrofunk between Moroccan folk and Gnawa music for a stunning result that plunges us into a funky psyche atmosphere through a poignant message making the figure of Aicha Kandisha , a strong and resilient woman in the face of oppression.
To find out more about this new single, MoroccoLatestNews FR asked Bantunani a few questions. His journey to discover what is behind Aicha Kendisha, the filming of his video clip in the Moroccan desert or his collaboration with Maâlem Abdenbi al Meknessi, the musician with multiple caps confides.
Why did you choose to tell the story of Aicha Kendisha?
Aicha Kandisha, we are not looking for her, I believe she is the one who finds you. By approaching the study of Gnawa music and its so mystical rites around colors, its legend called out to me to the point of engaging in a real quest to the point of devoting a song to it.
I followed in his footsteps, from El Jadida Fez to Meknes where Maleem Abdendi, my mentor in this project, gave me the last secrets. Suddenly, I understood that the myth went beyond the borders of Morocco since she was with a few exceptions the Mami wata of the Congo.
Living in Casablanca, the time of this album, I wanted to mix genres and open my groove to classical music from Morocco in addition to Gnawa folklore by inviting musicians from the Mers Sultant conservatory. where the singer knew how to find the bewitching timbre to embody Aicha.
How was the shooting of your clip in the Moroccan desert?
Often when I compose my music, the images come to me at the same time. I had this landscape before my eyes, this Morocco which is a real natural cinema setting.
Based on the model, with my very small team, we went in search of the Moroccan desert to hear or see the silhouette of the countess.
Most of the footage was shot near Nador where I really had hallucinations. Was it the heat or just mirages? I wanted a universal clip with a Hollywood aesthetic with an actress who embodies serenity to show an Aicha Kandisha more queen of the desert than a witch.
The quiet strength of a woman who is seen only by pure souls. The colonizers who made her a witch did not have good intentions. The witches of some are the heroines of others.
Your music is a musical marriage of afro funk, folk and gnawa, how do you manage to combine these sounds?
Yes, my music is a fusion that I don’t know how to define. For the album Perspectives, I opened up a lot to Morocco where the musical culture is very diverse and rich in meaning. The gnawa groove is close to sub-Saharan music. Are they not the same peoples? Music tells us the truth about borders, they don’t exist.
How does this fusion occur, I would tell you that it is a nuclear reaction that occurs during the mix. In London, where the album was partly mixed, we wanted to give a timeless character to the Bantunani sound by taking a lot of electro elements that we combined with the natural and spontaneous playing of musicians from Kinshasa and Morocco. Everything is built around the bass drums playing that characterizes my music.
How did the collaboration with Maâlem Abdenbi al Meknessi come about?
What do I have left of Morocco? Alongside Maleem and musicians from the conservatory, I learned a lot and deepened my groove because you know that I am looking for the absolute groove. I especially understood how important it is to live Africa and its art by withdrawing all the negative preconstructions that we have inherited from colonization. I am an eternal taleb. With this experience alongside Maleem Abdenbi, I am proud to have been able to carry out this project and to have pan-African music.
What message do you want to convey through your music?
My message is always the same, the one I sing in Rising song, it is about the great dream, the great destiny for the world in which my Africa would be the African, namely a crossroads of convergences of the arts and the economy where people could finally eat up to the riches of our soil. Yes, there is a political, anthropological and economic system to be invented for the good governance of Africa.