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Biz Zulu. Photo: Sabelo Mkhabela

The 23 Best South African Songs of the Month

Featuring TNS, Muzi, Makwa, Ami Faku and more.

Our list of the best South African songs of the month includes new singles that dropped in September, alongside those that were highlighted by getting the music video treatment.

Check out our selections below, which feature Makwa, Muzi, Ami Faku, TNS and Samthing Soweto, among others.

The list is in no particular order.

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


​Mx Blouse "Piesang Kop"

Mx Blouse's latest EP is yet another millennial take on kwaito. "Piesang Kop" is one of the songs you are likely to fall in love with.

​TNS (ft. Sonto) "Make Money"

A pure deep house night stalker from TNS' new album Madlokovu King of African House.

​Muzi (ft. Espacio Dios) "Good Vibes Only"

Muzi's latest single has many layers, it sounds full and is laced with potent vocals from both Muzi and his guest Espacio Dios.

​Makwa (ft. MarazA and AKA) "Ayipheli"

An unlikely combination that you didn't know you needed. "Ayipheli" is highly inspired by 90s kwaito, like most of Makwa's production, and has the potential to be the song of the summer.

​Samthing Soweto "Isphithiphithi"

"Isphithiphithi" has the feel of 80s and 90s wedding songs like Brenda Fassie's "Vulindlela." "Isphithiphithi" is a lovely song, and one that's danceable too.

​K.O. (ft. Wizkid & DJ Maphorisa) "Ghetto Boyz"

K.O. enlists Wizkid's vocals and Maphorisa's production for one of the strongest songs in his latest album PTY UnLTD. "Ghetto Boyz" is hard to hate, everything just falls in place.

​Sjava (ft. Madala Kunene) "Thina Asizazi"

Sjava and veteran musician Madala kuene deliver a vintage maskandi tune in which they aim to remind the Zulus of who they are, where they come from and call them out for abandoning their culture.

​Tshego "Right Now"

"Right Now" is one of the most enjoyable songs on Tshego's debut album Pink Panther. It's playful with some touches of sophistication.

​Ami Faku "Mbize"

Ami Faku's soulful vocals sit perfectly over 37MPH's electronic production.

​Nasty C "God Flow"

Nasty C's being his usual self, rapping intimidatingly over an ice-cold trap banger.

​Prince Kaybee (ft. Indlovukazi) "Monasi"

Fresh off their smash hit "Gugulethu," Prince Kaybee and Indlovukazi connect again for another heater.

​BLK JKS (ft. Morena Leraba) "Harare"

BLK JKS blend funk, folk music and rock, and spice it up with raps from famo rapper Morena Leraba in the single to their upcoming album, a follow-up to 2009's After Robots.

Solo (ft. Langa Mavuso) "See Plenty Dreams"

Solo speaks on South Africa's complex history and reveals himself as a person who's had an awakening of some sort. His pristine raps are accompanied by a solid hook from Langa Mavuso.

DJ Tira (ft. Junior Taurus & DJ Vettys) "uMgijimi"

DJ Tira's attempt at amapiano yields great results on 'uMgijimi," a song from his new album Ikhenani.

​Indigo Stella "You Say"

"You Say" sees the talented rapper tell the story of unrequited love over a nostalgic 90s-reminiscent beat. Indigo Stella is one of the most promising rappers in the country, be sure to not sleep on her new EP Indigo.

​Flame (ft. Ecco) "Home Run"

Flame highlights "Home Run" from his stellar album CandyMan with emotional visuals that show us Flame's real home and mother.

​Big Zulu "Ungqongqoshe Wongqongqoshe (50 Bars)"

Big Zulu charges on the opening song of his new album, which also happens to be the title track. He takes aims at rappers he feels are lesser, drops a few names and throws some subliminal messages. His punchlines are relentless and with a delivery like that, every line sounds believable.

​DJ Lag (ft. Moonchild Sanelly) "Uhuru Dis"

DJ Lag passes a spacious and empty beat to Moonhcild Sanelly who fills it up with her big personality and catchy lines.

​Major League DJz (ft. Focalistic) "Overload"

Major League DJz and Focalistic give their collaboration the visual treatment. The song's meaning is now clearer as the video depicts a woman with an "overloaded" behind.

Miss Pru "Sondela" (ft. Blaq Diamond, Loyiso, LaSauce, Lisa & Cici)

Maybe the video is substandard, but the song is a gem of note. Some artists on the Ambitiouz Entertainment roster gather for a lovey-dovey Afropop tune that deserves a spot on your playlist.

Black Coffee (ft. Usher) "LaLaLa"

"LaLaLa" combines the soulful vocals of Usher with Black Coffee's spacious house production. There's no way you won't love it.

pH Raw X (ft. Sho Madjozi) "Ibeballinho"

On "Ibeballinho," pH Raw X and Sho Madjozi share a catchy trap beat with a quaking bassline, which they lace with fitting raps. The two rappers look on the video as happy as they sound on the song.

​Sho Madjozi "John Cena"

Launched on A Colors Show, "John Cena" is poised to be Sho Madjozi's biggest single to date. She's using her tried and tested formula of rapping over gqom beats.


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



Interview
Photo: Benoit Peverelli

Interview: Oumou Sangaré Proves Why She's the Songbird of Wassoulou

We caught up with the Malian singer to talk about her new Acoustic album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

When Oumou Sangaré tells me freedom is at her core, I am not surprised. If you listen to her discography, you'll be hard-pressed to find a song that doesn't center or in some way touch on women's rights or child abuse. The Grammy award-winning Malian singer has spent a significant part of her career using her voice to fight for the rights of women across Africa and the world, a testimony to this is her naming her debut studio album Moussolou, meaning Woman. The album, a pure masterpiece that solidified Oumou's place amongst the greats and earned her the name 'Songbird of Wassoulou,' was a commercial success selling over 250,000 records in Africa and would in turn go on to inspire other singers across the world.

On her latest body of work Acoustic, a reworking of her critically acclaimed 2017 album Mogoya, Oumou Sangaré proves how and why she earned her accolades. The entirety of the 11-track album was recorded within two days in the Midi Live studio in Villetaneuse in 'live' conditions—with no amplification, no retakes or overdubs, no headphones. Throughout the album, using her powerful and raw voice that has come to define feminism in Africa and shaped opinions across the continent, Oumou boldly addresses themes like loss, polygamy and female circumcision.

We caught up with the Malian singer at the studio she is staying while in quarantine to talk about her new album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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