Indelible storyteller Pilani Bubu is never without a lived experience etched into her heart and mind in a highly expressive musical journey. Music is her main canvas, and words, the paint brush that determines her sonic landscape. She tells authentic stories of inspiration, identity, and influence. Her mission is to leave her audiences with an elevated consciousness. Pilani Bubu is a creative entrepreneur, a singer-songwriter, TV Presenter, a multifarious artist, an intentional performer with a unique voice and cohesive global sound. Her conceptual and thematic narratives are held together by her versatility in jazz, folk, funk, RnB and Soul.
Through her own independent label and publishing company Bupila Publishing she has released: ‘Journey of a Heart’ – EP (2012) produced by the soulful RJ Benjamin, ‘Warrior of Light’-Album (2016) co-produced and arranged by veteran jazz guitarist: Luke Van Der Merwe, and Folklore Chapter 1 Album (2019) co-produced with South African master guitarist Billy Monama and bassist Bheka Mthethwa whose love and command for South African guitar styles: ‘mbaqanga’ and ‘Isicathamiya’ played a huge role in fulfilling Pilani Bubu’s vision for the project. Folklore – Chapter 1, was awarded the Best African Adult Contemporary Album at the 26th edition of the South African Music Awards (SAMA26) and in October 2022, she launched the first installment of her Folklore Festival. Early 2022 she released ‘Lockdown Lovestory’- EP, a love story that takes inspiration from 90’s – 2000s RnB with the LLS Deluxe Album out in full on 31 March 2023.
In the last 10 years as an emerging artist, she’s performed her music at music venues and festivals both locally and globally: the Drum Beat Festival (SA), Grahamstown National Arts Festival (SA), Fete De La Musique (SA), Appetite Festival (SA), and Stellenbosch Wine Festival (SA), Women Rising Festival (Nigeria), Thursday Night Live (Kenya), Jazz at Congo Square Festival, Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz `Playhouse with Irvin Mayfield, Café Istanbul with Jon Batiste (New Orleans, United States,) and her more recent highlights: Live In Accra Jazz Festival (Ghana), Jazz on The Roof Top (Romania), Ploiesti Jazz Festival (Romania), Musique Metisse Festival in Angouleme (France) and relaunching her album Folklore Chapter 1 in France with a successful PR run and showcase in May 2022. In October 2022, she was the only South African selected to showcase at the biggest World Music Expo, WOMEX22, in Lisbon Portugal and she closed off the year with a 20-day tour in Czech Republic.
As a TV presenter, TV shows include: ‘Out And About’ on One Gospel channel on DStv channel 331 and currently: ‘Design For You With Pilani Bubu’, the most viewed local show on The Home Channel, DStv channel 176; now in its 10th season, aired on TV and VOD in 10 African Countries, Africa TV Channel, in East and Western Europe as well as Amazon Prime globally.
Her recent highlights have been: licensing and collaborating with Maya Angelou’s estate Caged Bird Legacy LLC, turning stanza to lyric with her song Hopes Springing High, Still I Rise, a musical interpretation of Maya’s poem Still I Rise. Supported and funded by the SAMRO Foundation, SAMPRA, Sheer Publishing and Downtown Publishers in the United States. Securing synch rights for her songs on the South African Netflix Series – The Brave Ones: Abantwana in collaboration with Blick Bassy (featuring in his Bikutsi 3000 spectacle), and Ufuna Bani in collaboration with Afronautiq a.k.a Sean Peavers. Her company Bupila Creative Co. has also been nominated for three Loeries awards, Africa and Middle Easts’ biggest adverting award, for her strategic and creative work on a Human Rights Campaign for the Nelson Mandela Foundation and was awarded a Loeries Bronze trophy for the Design Mixed Media Campaign in 2021 and the Nedbank Beke Le Beke campaign attained a bronze loerie in 2022 and her album Folklore Chapter 1 being named the Top 7 African albums in France by the National Newspaper platform: Le Monde.