From Vinyl Rhythms to Soulful Journeys - The Story of Bantu Records

From Vinyl Rhythms to Soulful Journeys - The Story of Bantu Records

From Vinyl Rhythms to Soulful Journeys: The Story of Bantu Records

Music wasn't background noise in Umlando's childhood home; it was a living pulse. In Johannesburg's East Rand, at the tender age of 11, Umlando became a turntable prodigy, spinning records that filled his grandfather's home and a bustling jazz club. The vibrant sounds of the 80s became the soundtrack of his life, a rich tapestry woven with joy, struggle, and the deep resonance of community. This early experience ignited a lifelong passion for creating musical experiences that move the soul.

Fast forward, and Umlando, now a celebrated DJ known as Umlando, saw a critical gap in Johannesburg's record store scene. Many stores overlooked the vibrant legacy of Black-owned businesses and the wealth of African music. Bantu Records was born to fill this void.

More Than Wax: A Journey Through Sound

Bantu Records is a pulsating Afro-centric hub, more than just a store – it's a portal to a world of sonic exploration. Here, music lovers embark on a journey through time, connecting to the ancestral rhythms and the ever-evolving melodies that speak to shared experiences.

Founder Umlando is a seasoned vinyl collector with a discerning ear, honed over a decade of dedicated pursuit. His travels have enriched his vast collection, making it a global tapestry of diverse sounds. But Umlando is more than just a "vibe curator" and community builder. He's a successful tech entrepreneur, bringing a unique blend of passion and business acumen to Bantu Records.

A Sanctuary for the Discerning Listener

Since its inception in 2019, Bantu Records has become a sanctuary for music aficionados. Inspired by the legendary Hugh Masekela and the infectious energy of township jazz, the store offers a platform for discovery and exploration. It's a space where the past whispers its stories, the present unfolds in vibrant melodies, and the future of music takes root.

Umlando: A Legacy in the Making

Umlando's personal collection, a testament to his dedication, boasts over 1,000 records. Returning to Johannesburg after his globetrotting adventures, he saw a need for a space that celebrated African music and empowered Black ownership. Bantu Records is his response, a haven built with evocative language that speaks to the soul of music itself.

Cultivating the Next Generation

Bantu Records isn't merely about selling vinyl; it's about fostering a future rich with local talent. While Brother Moves, Malcolm Jiyane, Nduduzo Makhathini, Sisonke Xonti, and Morena Leraba may not be household names yet, they are the heart and soul of Bantu Records. The store plays a vital role in educating the public about these local artists and nurturing a thriving music scene that will resonate for generations to come.


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