Robert 3D Del Naja from Massive Attack could well be the man behind the extensive work of Banksy, according to a British investigative journalist.
It’s midnight and the huge concert hall by Lisbon’s river Tagus welcomes another concert by Massive Attack, 20 years after their first gig in this city in this very same festival SuperBock SuperRock. Assisted by the Young Fathers, who joined the band in a couple of songs, their performance is marked by strong messages displayed in huge letters on an electronic billboard. Most of this written content is political, focused on the refugee problem, on Brexit and on other problems afflicting the world, along with some messages prepared for the occasion to greet, and amuse, the locals in this concert hall. Political statements have always been there since this band was formed, starting with the name Massive Attack, a clear reference to the attacks during the first Gulf War. After a first album of mellow and danceable melodies and a second rather pop album they joined the dark side on the third album, adopting a sound that would bring us closer to dark new-punk soundscapes. These dark and intense sounds would continue on the ensuing albums featuring the voice of “broke best star” Robert 3D Del Naja on most of the tracks. But if the sound changed the same cannot be said of the band’s lyrics, composed by the band or cleverly picked from the huge vault of pop history and recorded with new musical arrangements. “Safe from harm”, “A prayer for England”, “False Flags” or “The hunter gets captured by the game” are just some examples of Massive Attack’s critical view on current political and social affairs.
In light of the band’s political and social engagement the news on the possibility of Banksy and Robert Del Naja being the same person make perfect sense. To justify his claim and according to the Daily Mail investigative journalist Craig Williams went to great lengths trying to prove it. He began by joining the dots starting with the fact that both Banksy and Del Naja come from Bristol, a city where the latter was apparently the first known graffiti artist. According to the article on the Daily Mail Del Naja admitted to being friends with Banksy. The very same article is illustrated with a graph showing the places where Massive Attack played and where in the very same period Banksy graffitis were spotted as pointed out by Craig Williams. Should Robert Del Naja be Banksy himself or the leader of a group or artists signing under the name Banksy well congratulations on the job both as frontman of Massive Attack and as the man painting façades with beautiful and sharp images. Trendenz will take to the streets of Lisbon looking for eventual Banksy graffitis after the most recent Massive Attacks visit to Lisbon. Who knows we will be able to prove Craig Williams is right.
Carlos Tomé Sousa