Bantu Continua Uhuru Consciousness (BCUC)
BCUC is a live music-performing band from Soweto, South Africa. Our music derives from a blend of genres across the ages. We draw inspiration from Indigenous music that is not exposed in the mainstream. We sing ritual songs, around the fire hood songs; shebeen songs, church songs and we infuse them with raps and a rock and roll attitude. We always aim for a timeless, honest and traditional/ ritualistic sound. The music should always resonate with the spirituality, the history and the future of the people.
The band is made out of 7 band members, Jovi (lead singer, percussions), Kgomotso (backing vocals, percussions), Hloni (raps, ad libs, percussions), Luja (raps, backing vocals, marching drum), Cheex (congas), Skhumbuzo (bass drum) and currently we are playing with a session bass guitarist, Mosebetsi.
As BCUC, we want to tell stories of where we are from, showing where we are and where we are headed. Our Indigenous Music is not trapped in the past. Instead our views embrace the now. We are influenced by what we see, hear and the global community. Bantu Music (Africa Ngungungu) is not constrained to where we are from instead it recognizes human connection regardless of geography, culture or social standing.
We are the now generation. We are relevant; we are “the man on the street’’.
It is music for the PEOPLE, by the PEOPLE, with the PEOPLE.
They will be rocking out this weekend for the final Park Acoustics of 2018, a show you cant miss out on. We had a quick chat with the band, this is what they had to say:
Hello. We are doing good.
MA: Do you mind starting with a quick 101 on who BCUC is? Where in SA are you from and how did you get started in the music scene?
We were just a bunch of friends that knew each other’s friends. We shared a passion for music and the same beliefs. We decided to make a band that will change the way people think about music. The band is made out of 7 band members; Jovi (lead singer, percussions), Hloni (raps, ad libs, percussions), Luja (raps, backing vocals, marching drum), Cheex (congas), Skhumbuzo (bass drum), Kgomotso (backing vocals) and Mosebetsi on the bass guitar. And we are all from SOWETO.
MA: Where did you guys all meet, to form the band?
2003, Cheex playing the flute at a community center, he meets Jovi carrying a mini-disc recorder. They spark a cypher under the tree on one of those Jozi blazing sunny days. They take a walk to meet Luja, who works at a train as a ticket examiner. He has his book of rhymes, they spark another cypher there and then, by then the sun is almost going down. Days later they arrange another cypher in the park, plus, minus twelve man strong cypher is erected. On that day we get booked to play at a local pub. From the freestyles of the day the name Bantu Continua Uhuru Consciousness is created and the band is born. As they say the rest is history.
MA: What are some of your musical influences?
Our sound is influenced by everything. Indigenous music, soul, hip hop, pop, afro-beat, rock…We are big fans of tribal war songs; traditional ceremonial songs, old church music (very old!), fantasy movies and book characters also inspire us. Fela Kuti is a big deal for us, Mystical Revelations of Rastafari is a big for us, OumouSungari, Bueno Vista Social Club, Mahalia Jackson, Nina Simone, Otis Redding, Howlin Wolf, Mahlathini and The Mahotela Queens, to name a few.
MA: Do you have any major highlights in your musical career thus far?
Highlights so far…performing at Trans Musicales in Renne, France. Performing at WOMAD UK. Performing with Femi Kuti. To name a few.
MA: What are your thoughts of our local music scene at the moment?
Great things are happening right now. The scene is diverse and is growing. A lot is happening that is not always shown on TV or heard on radio, but there more we perform we notice that people are interested and supportive to local musicians.
MA: Any acts/bands/artists that you think need a special mention?
A special mention to all the acts/bands/artists that are doing amazing things in the world. Those who are working hard for their dreams and are making it happen whether people know or not. Those that are creating their own paths, the do it yourself[ers]. We see you <3
MA: You will be playing at the final Park Acoustics event of the year…. Are you excited for the gig? What can we expect from your set?
We are totally super excited!!!! It’s been a while since we played at Park Acoustics and we look forward to give a great performance, to have fun and take the audience for a wild ride.
MA: Anything else you currently working on that we may be interested in?
We are working on our third studio album and are excited and honored to have two amazing musical guests, Femi Kuti and Saul Williams. We are headed to the USA in January for a short tour. In February we are embarking on an extensive Africa Tour followed by a tour in Australia and New Zealand. Then headed back to Europe for another extensive tour.
MA: Where can people follow you on Social Media?