Afropolitan Vibes has become not just a regular feature in the Lagos social scene, but a melting point for aficionados of good music. Started three years ago by Ade Bantu and Abby Ogunsanya, the show is held every third Friday of the month. We asked Ade which artist would he like to see on the Afropolitan Vibes stage. His answer is quite interesting.
How and why did you start Afropolitan Vibes?
Ade Bantu :I felt Lagos needed more musical variety and a platform for alternative non conventional artists to present themselves to an audience who are open to being engaged beyond pop music standards. So I gathered my band, a few musical colleagues and we set out on an adventure.
Did you ever envisage this level of success?
Ade Bantu: To be quite frank I wasn’t thinking about the numbers or popularity when I started Afropolitan Vibes. All I wanted was to kick-start a platform, which I had hoped, would eventually become a movement, but I was fully aware that it would take time. It was also a gamble, especially in such an unpredictable environment like Nigeria, but that’s also the fun part you just have to trust and let go.
Some people say it is Lagos best kept secret, how true is that?
Ade Bantu: I don’t know what’s so “secret” about Afropolitan Vibes. We work hard to ensure we deliver quality music and we promote as much as we can to reach as many people as possible. We don’t want to be caught up in hype. We are ready to roll up our sleeves and get dirty.
Which show will you describe as your most memorable?
Ade Bantu: We have had numerous memorable moments that still standout, Daddy Show key’s comeback performance was very emotional. Whenever we have the older folks, the legends like Etbom Rex Williams, Orlando Julius, Chris Ajilo or Victor Olaiya I am filled with a sense of purpose and reminded of why I love what I do. When you then have 3 thousand people singing along to their evergreen hits and you see a tear or two rolling down the eyes of this forgotten heroes you know you understand what people mean when they say music is magic.
Do you plan to take the show to other cities?
Ade Bantu: We plan on touring Afropolitan Vibes around Africa. We want to engage other urban centers on the continent and present another Lagos and Nigeria. We have already started inviting guests from other African nations, so the dialogue has been initiated.
What has been the biggest challenge hosting the show every month?
Ade Bantu: The challenge is finding the right acts that compliment each other well. Also getting artists to commit to rehearsals and the show itself can be quite demanding. I think our major challenge is that we are yet to find committed sponsorship for our show although we have been running for close to 3 years and we have over 3000 people in attendance. It’s quite frustrating.
Which artist would you really want to see perform on the show?
Ade Bantu: I would like to invite Salif Keita and Ebenezer Obey and maybe Erykah Badu. I know it will happen eventually. Once you throw something positive at the universe your wishes will be answered. I am living proof.