The 20 Best South African Songs of the Month (February)
Featuring Nasty C, Focalistic, Kabza De Small, Blxckie, Jobe London and more.
Here are the South African songs and music videos that caught our attention this month.
Kabza De Small “Sponono” (featuring Wizkid, Burna Boy, Cassper Nyovest and Madumane)
Amapiano frontrunner Kabza De Small has finally unlocked the music video to one of the many standout songs off of his chart-topping debut album I Am The Piano King: Sweet & Dust. The animated clip for "Sponono" sees the artists perform the song inside a moving train and Madumane (DJ Maphorisa) spinning a Gusheshe.
Focalistic & Davido “Ke Star” (Remix) (featuring Vigro Deep)
Focalistic is on a mission to take "Pina Tsa Ko Kasi" and amapiano to the world. After spending the past few months performing in Zambia, Tanzania, Kenya and Nigeria, the musician has unleashed the remix to his platinum selling single "Ke Star" featuring Nigerian superstar Davido. This is not the first time Davido flirts with amapiano, as exhibited on his A Better Time album, and he sure delivers a strong verse on the Vigro Deep-produced beat.
Nasty C “Black & White” (featuring Ari Lennox)
Nasty C released the music video to "Black & White" featuring American R&B/Soul sensation Ari Lennox. Directed by Kyle White, the visuals portray a couple in a long-distance relationship, with Nasty C being in Cape Town while Ari Lennox is in Washington DC. The song, taken from rapper's latest album Zulu Man With Some Power, has also been selected to be the opener of the album, Rhythms of Zamunda: Music Inspired By Coming 2 America.
Blxckie “Stripes” (featuring Flvme)
On his first release for the year, Blxckie teams up with Flvme on the Hercule$-produced cut "Stripes". Over a mellow and trippy instrumental, the pair melodically sing-rap about getting acceptance and respect for the work they've put in. Blxckie, as one of hottest new wave rappers out right now, expresses this best in the song's hook; "I've been through heaven and hell, it's alright / I feel like a zebra, oh yeah, I got stripes".
Soul T iDyan “Bhuda Laway” (featuring Bravo Le Roux)
On "Bhuda Laway," new wave Xhosa rappers Soul T and Bravo Le Roux ooze braggadocio grootman (dyan) energy. The pair go from rapping about taking people's girlfriends to detailing how they're repping Xhosa (t)rap and "taking over". The track sees the rappers collaborate for the second time, after working together on Bravo Le Roux's "Main Road".
Ayanda Jiya “Love Me” (featuring Kwesta)
R&B songstress Ayanda Jiya releases her first single since her well-received 2019 album, Ayandastand. "Love Me" features a precise verse from rapper Kwesta and is produced by the singer/songwriter's frequent collaborator Zephbeats. The song is the preceding single to her forthcoming album QUEEN, which is slated for release on April 23rd and has Flvme, A-Reece and Stogie T as featured artists.
Stogie T “Dunno” (featuring Nasty C)
Directors Amr Singh & Lazarusman borrow from horror movies for the video of "Dunno". Nasty C and Stogie T hold hostage and torment an "internet thug" who tweeted his disapproval of the song. The visuals play out until it appears that it was all in the hater's head, or was it?
Intaba Yase Dubai “S’bali”
Intaba Yase Dubai has finally released his first single since signing with Ambitiouz Entertainment. The talented musician delivers his signature harmonies and vivid storytelling on the song, produced by his longtime producer, Dee R. "S'bali" captures the emotions of a love-struck individual who promises, from a distance, to marry his love interest and wishes to be a s'bali (brother-in-law) to her brothers.
iPhupha L’ka Biko “uThixo uKhona”
For their official debut single, iPhupha L'ka Biko repurposes igwijo (political struggle song) "uThixo Ukhona" (translated to "God exists") to make it a modern jazz record. The saxophone-led song brings forth the statement that God does exist, and goes on to encourage that, as such, black people will succeed despite the hardships they go through. While "uThixo Ukhona" is their debut single, the pan-African band has been active in live music spaces since 2015 and was recently featured on the Indaba Is compilation.
Beast “Pepereza” (featuring Reece Madlisa, Zuma, DJ Tira and Busta 929)
Durban and Joburg converge as versatile rapper Beast enlists Reece Madlisa and Zuma for his new single "Pepereza". The artists effortlessly float on the Busta 929-produced amapiano beat, and each of them uses their verses to dismiss naysayers.
Busta 929 “Ekseni” (featuring Boohle and Zuma)
Prolific producer Busta 929 has released a follow-up to the platinum selling smash hit "Umsebenzi Wethu". Enlisting the talents of vocalists Boohle and Zuma, "Ekseni" sees Busta step out as a lead solo act, after releasing a collaborative EP and co-producing a lot of hit songs with Mr JazziQ last year.
Killer Kau & Mr JazziQ “Amaneighbour” (featuring Reece Madlisa, Zuma and ThackzinDJ)
"Kataliya" hitmaker Killer Kau is back with a new single titled "Amaneighbour". The soaring bassline of the song is complemented by the addictive chants laced by Killer Kau, Reece Madlisa and Zuma. The song poses to be a street anthem and will surely get amapiano lovers dancing.
King Deetoy, Kabza De Small & DJ Maphorisa “The Calling” (featuring Mhaw Keys)
The Scorpion Kings rope in producer/deejay King Deetoy into the duo's continuous run, in their latest collab EP aptly titled Petle Petle (named after a viral video of Kabza De Small mimicking how Afro-tech sounds). "The Calling" merges the spacey repetitive synths and minimal vocalisation of Afro-tech with the log drum. The EP seeks to find a sweet spot between afrotech and amapiano, or perhaps brings forth what Major League DJz called "tech-piano" during a recent interview.
Jobe London “Injalo Lento” (featuring Killer Kau, Zuma and G-Snap)
Labelmates Jobe London, Killer Kau and G-Snap join forces with Amaroto's Zuma for the rumbling club cut. "Injalo Lento", directly translated to "it is what it is", speaks on living life to the fullest and having fun without worrying much about life's challenges.
Worst Behaviour “Samba Ngolayini” (Remix) (featuring DJ Lag, Gento Bareto, OkMalumKoolkat, Beast, Tipcee and DJ Tira)
Gqom duo Worst Behaviour assembles an all-star line up for the remix of their single "Samba Ngolayini" which was originally released in December 2020. The music video matches the song's high energy and contains a couple of shots of the artists dancing.
Bee DeeJay “Ndincede” (featuring Rhass, Mshayi & Mr Thela)
Cape Town deejay and producer Bee DeeJay taps Mshayi, Mr Thela and fast rising gqom vocalist Rhass for his first single of the year. "Ndincede'' is a mid-tempo gqom number which makes use of the signature Mshayi and Mr Thela bassline and church-like melodies. The lyrics are a call for help from the Lord and Rhass cleverly interpolates a line from the hook of Thebe's "Groovers Prayer".
Stino Le Thwenny “Mshimane 2.0” (featuring K.O, Major League Djz & Khuli Chana)
Burgeoning rap duo Stino Le Thwenny call up Major League Djz, K.O and Khuli Chana to rework their single "Mshimane". The duo kept their original verses, but they still manage to hold their own against highly impressive verses from the two veteran MCs.
Nue_Sam “Vuyolwethu” (featuring Buhlebendalo)
1020 Cartel's Nue_Sam, with the help of Buhlebendalo, released her debut single "Vuyolwethu". The poet delivers compelling and heartfelt words, touching on depression and anxiety. The song continues to showcase Nue_Sam's prowess in spoken word, with powerful lines like, "I don't just smile for no reason like before / My happiness now lasts for three minutes or four / Tears...well tears always! Always pour!"
Robin Thirdfloor “Ndosi”
Alternative hip-hop artist Robin Thirdfloor takes a different sonic direction on "Ndosi," which successfully blends electronic sounds with elements of amapiano. The catchy song references a character, by the same name, from popular South African 90s drama series (Ubambo Lwam). Robin is seeking his money ("iphi imali yam?") from Ndosi, who on the TV show owed a well known gangster.
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