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The 28 Best South African Songs of the Month (April)

Featuring Zoë Modiga, TNS, Simphiwe Dana, Priddy Ugly, Petite Noire and more.

The music hasn't stopped during the lockdown. Below, are South African songs that were released in April and those that were highlighted with music videos that caught our attention.


TNS "Ibhari" (featuring Luqua)

TNS takes inspiration from maskandi in his latest single "Ibhari." If the late Bhekumuzi Luthuli ever sang over house beats, he'd probably sound like TNS in this song.

​Ason "God Mode" (ft. Reason)

Reason joins Ason for a showcase of raps and character over a trap instrumental with a pulverizing bassline.

​ASAP Shembe "Belela Mina" (featuring Fireman R5 and Enkei)

A standout track from ASAP Shembe's stellar debut album, Amarekere.

​J Smash "Hyenas" (featuting Jay Hood, Lucasraps, Mass The Difference, Touchline, Dibi, Indigo Stella)

J Smash assembles a lineup of lyricists for a pleasing posse cut from his latest EP Monumental.

​Stogie T "The Making" (ft. Ziyon)

Stogie T uses his love for cigars to tell his life story over a minimalist instrumental characterized by mellow keys and a healthy bassline.

​KLY "Cashflow" (featuring Focalistic)

KLY returns with an oxymoronic banger that doubles as a smoothie. An unlikely collaboration you never knew you needed.

​Buli "Can I Kick It" (featuring Amarafleur)

Amarafleur sounds at home over electronic production from Buli on "Can I KickIt" from Buli's new Blue LP.

​Priddy Ugly "Durag"

Priddy Ugly turns a Twitter moment by amapiano frontman Kabza De Small into an ice-cold trap banger on "Durag" from his latest EP Lockdown Extended.

​DJ Maphorisa & Kabza De Small "Suka" (featuring Busiswa)

A smoky amapiano banger by DJ Maphorisa and Kabza De Small graced by the big personality of Busiswa.

​Sun-El Musican "Uhuru" (featuring Azana)

Azana weaves social commentary over rich production by Sun-El Musician in another potential by the producer who doesn't miss.

​Elizeé "What's Good (Outro)"

Elizeé opens up about the ambivalence of life on the come-up while facing personal challenges over fitting production in the outro for his new EP BLK SHP.

​Audiomarc (featuring Nasty C) "Audio Czzle"

Nasty C and his deejay have a banger in their hands—Nasty C is evidently having fun with his craft over a song that switches beats twice.

Insertcoinz "Sad Machines"

The lines between EDM and kwaito are blurred on the second song from Insertcoinz' EP Good and Nice.

​Muzi "Phuma (Bad Self)"

Muzi epitomizes black boy joy in the video for "Phuma (Bad Self)," a song in which he references South Africa's bubblegum pop music which was popular in the 80s and early 90s.

​Focalistic (featuring Zingah) "Patrice Motsepe"

Sonically, "Patrice Motsepe" references old school kwaito and amapiano, two genres Focalistic is fond of. Together with his guest Zingah, they rap about their aspirations of getting as rich as the South African billionaire.

​Sibu Nzuza "Thinta Thinta" (ft. Mnqobi Yazo)

A satisfying cauldron of multiple genres—part EDM, part pop, part Afrobeats and part amazing.

Ganja Beatz (featuring Costa Titch and FonZo) "ISH"

A collaboration by rappers from two different walks of life (and rap) clash in this new Ganja Beatz fire cracker.

​Moonga K. "Heartbeat 8"

Moonga K. celebrates love with the soothing "Heartbeat 8."

​Sam Turpin "Cloud City"

Sam Turpin sounds convincing over lo-fi production in his latest single

​Zoë  Modiga "UMDALI"

As usual, Zoë Modiga offers a positive outlook on life in her latest single "UMDALI." And the overall quality of the song is unmatched.

​DJ Lag (featuring Moonchild Sanelly) "Uhuru Dis"

DJ Lag highlights "Uhuru Dis" from his 2019 EP Uhuru with a creative music video the artist and his team have deemed the first gqom musical.

​Marcus Harvey "Be Right Back"

Marcus Harvey croons over moody trap production on "Be Right Back" from his EP I Am Marcus Harvey.

​Tshego "With My Bros"

This month, "With My Bros" from Tshego's 2019 album Pink Panther is treated to an emotive visual that comes with cameos from Nadia Nakai, Nasty C, Gemini Major and Tellaman.

​Champagne69 "Complicated"


Another energetic tune from the Champagne69 duo.

​Robin Thirdfloor (featuring ASAP Shembe and Laliboi) "Gibela (Remix)"

A showcase of different rapping styles from three of the best alternative rappers in South Africa.

​Petite Noir & Kingdom "Alive"

Petite Noir's vocals float above a cloud of pads and dense trap-inspired basslines and 808s on "Alive."

​Black Coffee (featuring 'SBCNCSLY' (featuring Sabrina Claudio)

Black Coffee's rich production collides with Sabrina Claudio's soulful vocals for a sophisticated house tune.

​Simphiwe Dana "Masibambaneni" (featuring Salif Keita)

"Masibambaneni" sounds unrushed with every element given its own screentime. Of course, it's on-brand for Simphiwe Dana whose music is never clattered.












Interview
Photo courtesy of the artist.

Interview: Bumi Thomas Was Given 14 Days to Leave the UK

We speak with the British-based singer-songwriter about her fight against a "hostile environment policy" and the release of her latest EP, Broken Silence.

There's a lot of vulnerability and soul packed into Bumi Thomas' latest EP. Given the surrounding context of a legal battle, Broken Silence was released, in Bumi's words, "at a time when microcosms of institutionalised racism have garnered so much momentum highlighting the domino effect of systems of oppression that have led to this powerful, global resurgence of the Black lives matter movement."

The inspiration behind this EP came at a time when Bumi faced a legal battle to stay in the UK, after receiving a letter from the UK Home Office to leave the country within 14 days. Understandably causing huge stress, this case turned from an isolated incident to national news, with 25,000 people signing her petition and raising money via crowdfunding for legal fees.

We spoke with the British-based singer about all of this below.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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