The weekend jumps off with a banga!
The recent release Banga from the Kes the Band and Tano combination is a song everyone appears to be taking an instant liking to – a banger. The song in just three (3) days has generated over 30k Spotify streams – nearly 3x the Spotify streams generated during opening week compared to Jub Jub, the most recent smash hit from the artist/producer fusion. For perspective, both Banga and Jub Jub are powered by Ineffable Records – Jub Jub is currently leading the pack of all Soca songs released this year on Spotify. With over 1.7m streams it has approx. 100k more streams on Spotify than the mega Carnival Anthem Come Home.
Banga is a diverse term with several slang meanings across the African diaspora and beyond.
In Nigeria banga is a type of meat, fish and palm fruit soup – sharing a similar etymology in Trinidad & Tobago, banga is known as a species of palm fruit. In Angola the term is slang for having ‘ones style’ and according to the Urban Dictionary, banga is an affectionate term for a person you have seen and taken an instant liking to. Across North America, a banger is often used to describe a song that is catchy, exciting and gets stuck in your head.
Banga appears to have been strategically released on September 8th. There was an immediate push on TikTok (a key platform for music discovery) that showed Kes the Band frontman Kees Dieffenthaller crooning his audience ‘…you know ah must come back, all ah wha you say, come come wine gimme banga’ with the ‘BANGA out now’ sign on the visual – just in time for the highly anticipated Sting & Shaggy “One Fine Day” music festival held at the Mann Center in Fairmount Park Philadelphia, PA on Saturday, September 9th. This festival gave additional exposure to the band, not only to the Shaggy fans – but also the Sting audience, unlocking a new demographic of potential fans.
The festival, created in collaboration between the Cherrytree Music Company and Live Nation with heavyweight artists headlining, brought out the media in full force including the local Philadelphia news outlets. During the CBS News Philadelphia coverage there was additional exposure given to Kes the Band during the opening moments of the piece. With Jub Jub playing in the background, the reporter commented “The festival featured more than half a dozen artists, including Trinidadian Soca Group, Kes….”
Considered a full day of eclectic music, the festival featured a diverse lineup with all performers handpicked by Sting and Shaggy. It was an almost genre-less or genre-full festival. Sting was quoted about the purpose behind the festival, ‘we really want to bring some sunshine and a light feeling…’
This light feeling festival gave Kes the opportunity to grace the stage with the likes of Koffee and Philly’s own G. Love & Special Sauce and others, giving Kes additional exposure to, for example, the Koffee fans that may have been in the audience. According to The Philadephia Inquirer ‘it turns out the popular artists that come from different genres complement each other’. Fans continued, “they are so different. Sting to me is like, something I grew up with all the time and Shaggy is like this new vibe that I like, I just absolutely think this is so much fun.”
What a boost for Soca Music to be involved in this type of environment.
Kes, understanding the importance of the moment took the opportunity to send a message via Instagram ‘Thank you to Shaggy and Sting, for inviting us and Soca, to be a part of this magical movement and festival’
In addition to the heavy Spotify streams, Banga has already hit the Apple Music and iTunes charts in 20 countries around the world including a #1 spot on iTunes (Reggae) in Canada on its release day (September 8th). On the 9th – in lock step with the performance in the City of Brotherly Love, Banga peaked at #4 in the United States on iTunes (Reggae) and in their home country of Trinidad and Tobago, Banga peaked at #7 on iTunes (Reggae) on September 10th.
With this release, Kes the Band and the team working behind the scenes, provide a showcase of how they are creating an environment to position their music for growth and success – by combining the features of a strategic release, creative bookings, marketing planning, mutually beneficial collaborations and increasingly feel good music. All of these factors and more have contributed to this incredible opening weekend for Banga.
According to Kees “My ultimate goal is to continually push boundaries and shatter barriers within the realm of Soca Music….with the diaspora experiencing unprecedented growth, my aim was to seamlessly blend elements of African and Trinidadian sound, to bring to you this ‘Banga.’”