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Zoë Modiga's "Intsha" is one of the best South African songs of the month (May).

The 17 Best South African Songs of the Month (May)

The best South African songs featuring Langa Mavuso, Maraza, Kwesta, Hunter Rose, Moonga K and more.

Here are the South African songs that caught our attention this month. This list includes songs and music videos that were released this month.

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


​Emtee "Johustleburg"

A compelling ode to Joburg from Emtee, crafted by his long-time producer Ruff.

​Solve The Problem & 808x "22"

Standout song from Solve The Problem's latest EP, Essentials Only.

AKA "Energy" (featuring Gemini Major)

"Energy" is the house-sampling trap anthem you never thought you needed.

​Maraza "Poured Up" (featuring Young2unn Beats)

Maraza, one of the few SA rappers who've never missed, dropped a new project. We like every song, but we have "Poured Up" on repeat. You just might, too.

Kwesta "The Finesse" (featuring Riky Rick)

Every now and then Kwesta reminds fans who only know him for his hits that he's a rapper foremost. "The Finesse" is easy on the ear, but both rappers deliver potent raps.

Indigo Stella "No Smoke"

After listen to Indigo Stella's latest song, you'll know one thing—you don't want no smoke with her.

​Hunter Rose "By Your Side" (featuring Meek)

Outstanding storytelling and vocal performance from Hunter Rose assisted by Meek. Be sure to pick up her new project Love & Trust.

​Zoë Modiga "Intsha"

Zoë Modiga counters the dearth of new age protest songs with "Intsha," capturing the youth's resilience and sensitivity with her vocal performance and writing.

​Nasty C x Rowlene "I Need You"

"I Need You" is a satisfying marriage of hip-hop and R&B built over swinging keys and a colossal bassline.

​Kazi Ya Sanaa "Offsprings of the Faithless"

Up-and-coming Joburg based duo Kazi Ya Sanaa's "Offspring of the Faithless" is a mash-up of jazz and neo soul and your ears will definitely love it.

​Moonga K "zinedine's interlude"

Moonga K looks at love and life with a questioning eye, and expresses it with R&B vocals over intoxicating production.

​Langa Mavuso "Love Lost"

Langa Mavuso recounts the suicide of his first love in the first single to his upcoming album.

​Da Capo "Moyo Wangu" (featuring BATUNDI)

Electric guitar-laden production houses BATUNDI's spacious vocals in "Moyo Wangu" from Da Capo's latest release Genesys.

Southside Mohamed "2008Birdz"

Southside Mohamed's melodic raps glide over l-fi trap production in this two-part single.

​Ma-E (featuring K.O) "Navigator"

Two rappers who go more than a decade back prove they still have chemistry. In the video, they fill up the void of Joburg under lockdown with their big personalities.

​Big Zulu "Ama Million" (featuring YoungstaCPT, Kwesta, Zakwe) (Remix)

Big Zulu, Kwesta, YoungstaCPT and Zakwe serve bars and looks in the music video for this smash of a posse cut.

​Willy Cardiac "Fan of Me" (featuring Eric Bellinger)

In "Fan of Me," South African hip-hop newcomer Willy Cardiac's first single of 2020 packs a punch, from the production to the raps and the guest appearance from Grammy-winning songwriter Eric Bellinger.


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


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Hugh Masekela's New York City Legacy

A look back at the South African legend's time in New York City and his enduring presence in the Big Apple.

In Questlove's magnificent documentary, Summer of Soul, he captures a forgotten part of Black American music history. But in telling the tale of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, the longtime musician and first-time filmmaker also captures a part of lost South African music history too.

Among the line-up of blossoming all-stars who played the Harlem festival, from a 19-year-old Stevie Wonder to a transcendent Mavis Staples, was a young Hugh Masekela. 30 years old at the time, he was riding the wave of success that came from releasing Grazing in the Grass the year before. To watch Masekela in that moment on that stage is to see him at the height of his time in New York City — a firecracker musician who entertained his audiences as much as he educated them about the political situation in his home country of South Africa.

The legacy Masekela sowed in New York City during the 1960s remains in the walls of the venues where he played, and in the dust of those that are no longer standing. It's in the records he made in studios and jazz clubs, and on the Manhattan streets where he once posed with a giant stuffed zebra for an album cover. It's a legacy that still lives on in tangible form, too, in the Hugh Masekela Heritage Scholarship at the Manhattan School of Music.

The school is the place where Masekela received his education and met some of the people that would go on to be life-long bandmates and friends, from Larry Willis (who, as the story goes, Masekela convinced to give up opera for piano) to Morris Goldberg, Herbie Hancock and Stewart Levine, "his brother and musical compadre," as Mabusha Masekela, Bra Hugh's nephew says.

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