Music

The 15 Best South African Songs of the Month (January)

The best South African songs of the month featuring Black Coffee, Amarafleur, A-Reece, The Big Hash, TNS, King Monada and more.

Here are the South African songs and music videos that caught our attention this month.

Follow our MZANSI HEAT playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.


King Monada “Wa Ngobatxa” (featuring Jen Jen & Mack Eaze)

After dropping a lot of music in 2020, King Monada kicks off the new year with the breakup anthem "Wa Ngobatxa". The track sees King Monada and featured vocalist Jen Jen go back and forth about how they have hurt each other and can no longer continue with being in a relationship.

DJ Obza “Idlozi Lami” (featuring Nkosazana & DJ Freetz)

DJ Obza maintains his momentum with the release of the new single "Idlozi Lami". Nkosazana's ethereal voice further translates the song's powerful lyrics, which give thanks to the ancestors, fitting for Obza who had a breakthrough hit with "Mang'Dakiwe" last year. The song serves as the opener to his label's upcoming compilation, Open Mic Grooves II.

Junior De Rocka & Lady Du “Catalia” featuring Mr JazziQ, Mellow & Sleazy

On "Catalia," Lady Du narrates living a stress-free life; with everything going accordingly and being in her favour. Her mellow vocals sit comfortably on the quivering bassline of the composition crafted by burgeoning amapiano duo Mellow & Sleazy. The song follows her previous single "Dakiwe", which was released in December and featured DBN Gogo.

Oskido “Une Mali” (featuring Focalistic, Nokwazi & Pearl Thusi)

The legendary Oskido has been involved in South African music for more than 30 years. It is then no surprise that his latest single "Une Mali" borrows from the rich sonics of marabi. The song is carried by Oskido's longtime collaborator Nokwazi and contains a surprising short vocal performance by actress Pearl Thusi, while rapper Focalistic showcases his versatility with a compelling verse. The song's visuals, directed by renowned director Kyle White, depict a marabi/kwela themed party.

Priddy Prince “Jump 2”

Every once in a while SA hip-hop unearths a wonderkid. This is the case with 15-year-old rapper Priddy Prince. The young rapper from Cape Town, who started buzzing because of his "Jump" single and freestyles, has unleashed "Jump 2". With clever lines like, "All of these rappers are micro-soft / I give you my word, I'mma excel" and exhilarating flows, it's safe to say he is going to be around for a while. Recently, he got into the studio with Lucasraps and Blxckie, who we've included in our list of artists to watch in 2021.

Bravo Le Roux “Late Night Chats” (featuring Soul Kulture)

Rising Xhosa rapper Bravo Le Roux has released his first music video since announcing his signing with Mshayi & Mr Thela's Shaya Records in November. "Late Night Chats" is a song off of his EP Ndingu Ta Bravo Kuwe and features the award winning Afro-soul duo Soul Kulture.

Prince Kaybee & Thalitha “Yehla Moya”

The opening track off Prince Kaybee's Project Hope has received the visual treatment courtesy of Ofentse Mwase Films. With everything happening in the world currently, many listeners will relate with the song's message and lyrics. Thalitha pleads with the holy spirit to come down ("yehla moya oyingcwele"), and is seeking guidance from the Lord. This month, Kaybee also announced the title and revealed the tracklist of his forthcoming album The 4Th Republic.

TNS “Competition”

As the release of multi-talented artist TNS' sophomore draws closer, he has been releasing a new song every Friday since December. On "Competition", TNS showcases his captivating vocals on a mid-tempo Afro-house instrumental which he produced himself.

Urban Village “Dindi”

Soweto quartet Urban Village has finally released their long-awaited debut album Udondolo. Built on traditional mbaqanga melodies weaved with electronically produced synths, "Dindi" celebrates the beauty of dark-skinned women. The song preaches that "dark dindy(s)" should love and be proud of how they look.

Black Coffee & Diplo “Never Gonna Forget” (featuring Elderbrook)

Superstar deejay and producer Black Coffee enlists Major Lazor's Diplo and Elderbrook for his latest single "Never Gonna Forget". The song is featured on Black Coffee's upcoming album Subconsciously, which already has over 100 millions streams worldwide. The album also features Usher, Pharell Williams, David Guetta and more international stars.

Afrotraction “Believe It” (featuring Bhut Better & Dudlu kaDlamini)

Seasoned Afro-soul artist Afrotraction explores and takes on amapiano on his latest project The Launch of JazzYano. "Believe It" is a standout from the album, which fuses jazz melodies with amapiano, resulting in a cross-genre Afrotraction refers to as "JazzYano".

Ami Faku “Lala Ngoxolo” (featuring Emtee)

​"Lala Ngoxolo" (translated to "rest in peace" in isiXhosa) seeks to offer much-needed consolation to those who have lost loved ones, especially to Covid-19 and Covid-related complications. Ami Faku took to Instagram to announce the song, and captioned the post: "I hope this tune brings you comfort and puts your heart at ease". The song, produced by Lastee (of Select Play) is Ami Faku's first release after the success of her debut album, Imali (2019).

A-Reece "THE 5 YEAR PLAN" (featuring Wordz)

Nobody is safe when A-Reece releases. His dedicated, cult-like fanbase has been patiently waiting for the release of this song since Reece teased it during his Cotton Fest performance, almost a year ago. While some are critical of how A-Reece and crew moves, Wordz assures: "Ain't no way I'm losing this shit, on my mama". "THE 5 YEAR PLAN" is the talented lyricist's second release of the month, his fans are sure happy as he can go on for months without releasing.

Amarafleur "Reckless"

Amarafleur ended her 2020 with the release of her new single "Reckless," which sees her deliver sultry vocals on the soaring instrumental. After being featured on a couple of songs last year, the electro-soul singer/songwriter is planning to release more music and visuals, as she revealed in a recent interview and has been teasing on socials.

The Big Hash "Peace of Mind"

The Big Hash has dropped the first official release under his new label, Devo Entity. "Peace of Mind" is the preceding track off the artist's album, Heartbreak Hotel. Judging by that title and this song, fans are about to get treated to some heartbreak anthems, especially on the R&B section of the double album.


Follow our MZANSI HEAT playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.



Interview

Sarkodie Is Not Feeling Any Pressure

The elite Ghanaian rapper affirms his king status with this seventh studio album, No Pressure.

Sarkodie is one of the most successful African rappers of all time. With over ten years of industry presence under his belt, there's no question about his prowess or skin in the game. Not only is he a pioneer of African hip-hop, he's also the most decorated African rapper, having received over 100 awards from close to 200 nominations over the span of his career.

What else does Sarkodie have to prove? For someone who has reached and stayed at the pinnacle of hip-hop for more than a decade, he's done it all. But despite that, he's still embracing new growth. One can tell just by listening to his latest album, No Pressure, Sarkodie's seventh studio album, and the follow-up to 2019's Black Love which brought us some of the Ghanaian star's best music so far. King Sark may be as big as it gets, but the scope of his music is still evolving.

Sonically, No Pressure is predominantly hip-hop, with the first ten tracks offering different blends of rap topped off with a handful of afrobeats and, finally, being crowned at the end with a gospel hip-hop cut featuring Ghanaian singer MOG. As far as the features go, Sark is known for collaborating mostly with his African peers but this time around he branches out further to feature a number of guests from around the world. Wale, Vic Mensa, and Giggs, the crème de la crème of rap in America and the UK respectively all make appearances, as well as Nigeria's Oxlade, South Africa's Cassper Nyovest, and his fellow Ghanaian artists Darkovibes and Kwesi Arthur.

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