Ache-filled elegies, knuckle-dragging beats, and ethereal electronics comprise Ntu's singular brand of R&B, rock, and soul: where the visceral meets the cerebral. The antidisciplinary artist, born to South African immigrants, mastered a range of dance styles while growing up in Virginia. Over a decade’s worth of rigorous performance training honed Ntu’s live experience into a transcendent amalgam of song, dance, theater, and visual splendor unmatched in the contemporary pop landscape. Invoking the works of such Black thinkers as Édouard Glissant and Dionne Brand, Ntu’s world is poetic and animate, replete with sensual matter.
In 2019, Ntu premiered their debut theatrical show (000) at the historic St. Mark’s Church-in-the-Bowery, which has hosted performances by such cultural giants as Martha Graham and Patti Smith. In 2020, Ntu released music from (000) in the form of their debut EP Perfect Blue, a brooding collection of abstractionist R&B songs. Following its release, the FADER named its single “Gaslight” one of the “10 songs you need in your life this week,” and the EP garnered additional praise from the likes of Resident Advisor and the Wild Honey Pie.
A subversive voice in commercial music, Ntu is equally immersed in worlds of emergent art and technology. As part of Eyebeam’s 2019 residency, Ntu recorded motion capture performances for LaJuné McMillian’s Black Movement Project, an archive of Black movement in virtual space. In February 2020, McMillian’s work was acquired by the Whitney Museum of American Art. In their own right, Ntu has conducted research in 3D audio for residencies and festivals such as Laboratory Spokane and the Creative Code Art Festival in New York City.
Rebellious against the fragmented and frantic output models of contemporary music, Ntu offers a sublime alternative, one that draws listeners into sensuous rituals of the mind, heart, body, and soul ↓
"Ntu makes a skeletal but sexy form of [R&B] that feels au courant...On ['Perfect Blue'], his voice unfurls elongated hooks around slow, languorous drum patterns, before going double-time in the verse. It's a hip-hop vocal dexterity in an electronic torch song context, and it's just one highlight on a strong EP full of them." — Resident Advisor
"A delicate elegy, 'Gaslight' is a stunning new offering from Ntu...Each layer of ambient sounds—metallic whooshes and creaking floors—is laid down with the precision of a painter adding soft strokes to an intricate canvas...We are subsumed, and we love it." — The Wild Honey Pie on "Gaslight"
"Gaslight'...is as intoxicating as it is disorienting." — FADER on "Gaslight"
"[G]rowling production and delicate vocals evoking the sounds of artists like serpentwithfeet, Arca, and FKA twigs." — AQNB
"Experimental yet cohesive, fresh but polished, Ntu’s debut offering is futuristic yet still familiar, and is a perfect example of why contemporary RnB is not letting itself be restricted by the sonics of traditional RnB while still building on its foundations." — Bubblegum Club
"[T]he lyrics of 'Konke' comfort and offer strength for world and internal reconstruction. It’s an unpredictable shifting represented by the buzz and snap of the sound-design, reminiscent of Lotic, FKA Twigs, and Arca." — Tone Glow on "Konke"
“[A] unique sound, taking on a hybrid of influences. R&B, electronica, and resemblances of pop sensibility culminate in the form of an original and exciting perspective.” — Underground Underdogs
“[C]elestial vocals...over dark and warped electronic synths.” — AdHoc