Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

The Resounding Influence of Nick Holder’s ‘Summer Daze’ on South African Music

How a Canadian house classic got etched into South African music and still continues to get sampled.

Ask any house head worth their money for a top ten list of the genre's greatest songs and Nick Holder's "Summer Daze" is sure to feature. The song came screaming into the 21st century in the early 2000s, and has remained a permanent fixture on dance floors and playlists across South Africa and the rest of the world. If it were possible to synthesize the feeling of a South African December, it would most likely sound like the racing percussion and twinkling piano keys on "Summer Daze."

Twenty years after its release, the song's influence can't be overstated. In the same way you can't imagine hip-hop without "Juicy" or "C.R.E.A.M," "Summer Daze" is a song that has ironed itself into the history of modern-day house music. Recently, "Summer Daze" has seen something of a return in contemporary South African music.

In 2019, R&B artist Ayanda Jiya interpolated the song for her breakthrough hit "The Sun." "'Summer Daze' is my all-time favorite house song. It's a classic that most of us love and I wanted a sample most people were familiar with," says Jiya in an interview with OkayAfrica.

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