This is Panetoz

Forget gangsta rap. Never mind glossy attitudes and bling bling, American cars and half naked chicks that seem to be glued to car hoods for God knows what reason. This is the real deal.

Panetoz will turn all preconceptions you’ve had about how hip hop should sound, and how to behave as a rapper with suburban descent, upside down. Their roots come from Africa. Obviously. They think music should be fun. Obviously. They’ve fought together since 1997. It’s evident. A tight bunch, glued together by friendship since their teens and a strong urge to make a difference. And now, after all these hard years’ of struggle, the can finally reap the benefits.

Dansa pausa is the smash hit of the year in Sweden. In May, it was no 1 on Spotify, no 1 on iTunes, no 1 on the sales charts – and this even before summer has begun. It is already certified double platinum and is still soaring up the radio charts. The Official Music Video is now well over 700 000 views, and the hilarious flash mob which was performed in a Stockholm subway train pretty much sums up what the band is all about. Create chaos – but in a good way! Make people laugh and dance!

The interest shown from countries outside the Swedish borders isn’t news to Panetoz. For years, their music has been commented on YouTube by people from all over the world, and the most common phrase is “we don’t understand a word you’re saying – but we love it!”

Panetoz was formed in 1997 in Jordbro, a suburb outside of Stockholm, World. The three founding members Pa Modou, Nebuyu and Tobias also named the band, and the journey had begun. Singing in English was never an option, and their minds were set on combining the best of the two worlds – the African roots and their Swedish homes. Hence the Panetoz sound is truly one of a kind: it is not common in the hip hop culture of today to embrace your native language.

“Nobody would expect us to sing in Swedish,” explains front man Pa Modou Badjie. “It wasn’t cool but we didn’t care. We wanted to find our own sound, not look or behave like anybody else.”

The band listened to Magic System, Jay-Z, Youssou N’Dour and Tupac while elaborating their own take on beats and rhymes, and eventually the group and sound had formed. Organic beats and percussion driven, the hooks are unmistakable and pretty soon it was evident that this music would not pass by unnoticed. Since the beginning, Panetoz have had extremely interactive fans, which shows on all social media platforms. And meeting with the guys, it’s easy to understand why. They bubble with joy, charming as they are; and the live experience enhances the energy even further.

“It has been tough on some of us”, Pa Modou says, suddenly serious. “Some of us came to a country where neither the climate nor the language made sense. A few of us were born here, but still felt out of place. But we found each other, and the love of music. This is where we belong.”

And yes, the future truly looks bright. The debut album is set to be released this autumn. Panetoz is ready for the world.

Panetoz are: Pa Modou Badjie · Nebeyu Baheru · Johan Hirvi · Daniel Nzinga · Njol Badjie

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