Imagine a future of harmonious interconnectedness.
Ntu’s stage name (pronounced “in-too”) is a tribute to his South African heritage. It’s an allusion to “Ubuntu,” a concept South African philosopher and anti-apartheid activist Desmond Tutu used to describe “the very essence of being human,” one where “my humanity is inextricably bound up in yours.” These ideas also come through in Ntu’s art, which he says “visually and sonically place Black people and Black narratives in [his] own imaginations of the future.”
Ntu started producing music on a high school laptop at the age of 15 in Virginia, inspired by FKA twigs and Björk, and later moved to New York to study at Clive Davis. He’s also a professional contemporary dancer, which he says greatly informs his music, imbuing it with a sense of conscious and subconscious movement.
Today, we’re premiering “Perfect Blue,” the second single and title track from his debut EP, which is out in January. Ntu’s celestial vocals, which he says were influenced in part by Faith Evans’ layered choruses, discuss fantasizing really intensely about someone to the point of hallucination. “Is it real / Are you here with me? / Most perfect blue/ My eyes have ever seen,” he sings over dark and warped electronic synths.
“I wanted to make a track that would force me to deliver lyrics in a way that I wasn’t always used to,” he told AdHoc, citing Prince’s “I Would Die For You” from Purple Rain a lyrical inspiration. Ntu also gave AdHoc details about the themes of the upcoming EP, which he says “imagines black futures beyond oppression” and “discusses the ways in which past pain and trauma can warp one’s perception of the present and future—everything from how a partner gaslighting in a previous relationship can render one distrustful of new partners, to how generational trauma prevents one achieving inner peace. The conclusion made is that even if pain has a place in one’s timeline, there’s always the future possibility of peace.”