Soul, hip hop, house, rap, rock, gqom… South Africa has got it all, which is why during the month of we’re honouring talented South African musicians that have managed to achieve a stellar status both at home and on the international music scene.
Jeremy Thomas Hewitt, aka Jeremy Loops, may have picked up a guitar rather late in life but that didn’t stop him from winning numerous awards and building a successful global touring career within a period of only few years.
"Down South", the lead single from Jeremy’s debut album Trading Change, released in March 2014, quickly claimed the number one position on South African Top 40 radio stations.
Die Antword ("The Answer") is a South African hip hop group with a cult following and unique style which incorporates elements of zef culture.
The band composed of Ninja, Yolandi and DJ Hi-Tek has been performing since 2008, using art as a “shock machine designed to wake up unconscious people and help them get away from dull experience”.
Nkosinathi Innocent Maphumulo, better known as Black Coffee, is a South African DJ and singer-songwriter who started his career back in 2005 with a remix of Hugh Masekela's hit Stimela.
Performing what can be described as urban soul, Black Coffee has worked with a number of other successful musicians and in 2018 released a single titled “Drive” created in collaboration with David Guetta.
Mi Casa is a Johannesburg-based house band consisting of three charismatic members - Dr. Duda, J'Something and Mo-T, who have combined their musical talents to create a unique urban jazz sound.
The band was formed in 2011 and a few months later launched an album titled Micasa Music which won several awards at the 18th Annual MTN South Africa Music Awards in 2012.
Goldfish, an electronic music DJ duo from Cape Town, creates dance music with elements of house, pop, jazz and African rhythms. The duo has released their debut album Caught in the Loop in 2006 and soon became one of the most influential live electronic music groups.
The name Goldfish came about when one member of the duo (David Pool) joked about the other’s (Dom Peters) legendary short term memory skills.
Jack Parrow, a South African superstar rapper by the real name of Zander Tyler, had a vision of what he wanted to do very early on. He started off rapping in English but soon decided to switch to Afrikaans.
The single “Cooler as Ekke”, released in 2009, was Jack’s first hit with many more to follow. This multitalented artist went on to shoot a TV series titled Dis Hoe Ons Rol and launched a brandy product known as Parow Brandy.
Bongekile Simelane, aka Babes Wodumo, is a South African model, dancer and gqom artist known for her hit song Wololo which was released in 2016.
2016. The artist who has so far launched only one album called Gqom Queen, describes her music as raw and fresh. “It’s a sound that you’ll never hear. It’s a youth genre”, says Babes Wodumo.
GoodLuck is a South African electronic music band formed in 2011 by Juliet Harding and Ben Peters. A few years later, saxophonist and piano player Matthew O'Connell joined the group.
Their second album, recorded in the Namibian desert and featuring natural sounds such as zebra vocals and the sound of the ocean, was presented at Amsterdam Dance Event 2013.
King Monada, whose real name is Khutso Steven Kgale, is a South African musician best known for his smash hit Ska Bhora Moreki.
The Limpopo hit maker inspired by Peter Teanet and Bojo Mujo scored once again with “Malwedhe”, a song which was released in 2018 and immediately went viral, spreading all the way to China and earning this talented artist an invite to the UK.
Francois Henning, better known as Snotkop, is a popular South African rapper who started his career at the age of 15. Having initially played kwaito music under the stage name of Lekgoa, he “rebranded” in 2005 and performed first as a member of a 4-piece boy band before shortly afterwards going solo.
Snotkop is also a popular TV personality who presented the program Petrolkop on South African music channel MK.
Prime Circle is a hugely successful South African rock act formed in 2002. During their long career, band members have extensively toured, performed at major festivals and won more than a few music awards.
In 2006 they played alongside Metallica and a number of other popular musicians, and their third album “All or Nothing”, released in 2008, went platinum within the first 6 months.
When this South African rock band first appeared in 1999, they were calling themselves Saron Gas. The group changed name to Seether after the move to the US in 2002 and immediately became a success with the single “Fine Again”.
Numerous other hits followed, among them "Broken", "Remedy" and "Fake It". The band whose music is described as a post-grunge/alternative metal has changed members multiple times, the only constant being vocalist/guitarist Shaun Morgan.
L.A. Cobra is a South African hard rock act performing since 2005 and influenced by 80’s rock bands like Guns & Roses, Motley Crue, Bon Jovi and Poison.
Its members, Don Cobra, Slade, Ewil Honey and The Animal, call themselves “the only true sleaze band on the African continent”. These sleaze rock kings have released two albums to date and made their music popular both locally and internationally.
The Parlotones is South Africa’s own indie rock band formed in 1998 in Johannesburg. Initially influenced by the likes of R.E.M. and The Smiths, the guys were performing under the name of Crayon until 2002.
Their album Episoda, released in 2003, was described as “too weird for mainstream radio" and it was only the following one (Radiocontrolledrobot) that enabled the band to achieve mainstream success.
Karen Zoid, South Africa's Queen of Rock, started working as a street musician when she was a teenager and in 2002 released her first, instantly successful record Poles Apart.
Karen’s work was enthusiastically embraced by the South African youth and she soon achieved an iconic status with a large following referred to as the "Zoid Generation".
Springbok Nude Girls
Springbok Nude Girls, an alternative rock band from Cape Town, has been a part of the South African rock scene since the early 1990’s.
Playing songs which incorporated elements of punk rock, acid jazz and heavy metal, they were considered to be one of the most promising bands in the country. The group broke up in 2001 and then reunited five years later to release Peace Breaker album in March 2007.
AKA, a South African rapper born as Kiernan Jarryd Forbes, was dubbed "Prince of South African Rap" following the release of “Problems”, “Do It” and several other hits.
He was initially performing with two school mates in a band called Entity which, owing to different visions and plans of band members, broke up in 2006. AKA’s debut album Altar Ego, launched in 2011, won Best Hip Hop Album, Best Newcomer and Best Produced Album at the Metro FM Music Awards in 2011.
Having begun his career as an actor in the hit TV show "Agter Elke Man” in 1986 and later on appearing in several movies, Pretoria-born Steve Hofmeyr signed his first record contract in 1989.
This controversial singer-songwriter, poet, actor and activist has sold out concerts around the world, produced more than 200 original songs, and won a SAMA award for Best Selling South African Artist in 2004.
Heaving reached fame as the lead singer of rock band Genesis, in 1975 Gabriel launched a solo career and achieved superstar status with the release of the album called “So”.
His music was influenced by the sounds of Africa and one can find evidence of African drumming present in more than a few of Gabriel’s songs. “Solsbury Hill” features a lunga drum, while in “In Your Eyes” you can hear a talking drum, djembe drums and several other African instruments as well as African lyrics.