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15 South African Artists to Watch in 2019

Featuring Manu WolrdStar, Ranks, Dee Koala, Touchline, Sibu Nzuza and more.

Every year a wave of artists breaks in South Africa.

Last year saw young artists such as Mlindo The Vocalist, Muzi, Una Rams, Shekhinah, Sho Madjozi, KLY, Zoocci Coke Dope, Flame, J Molley, Rowlene and a whole lot more become household names and internet sensations. They released projects that shaped the country's musical landscape—a lot of them were on our list of 20 artists who could fuck up the game in 2018.

Alongside the aforementioned artists, there were just as many who were bubbling under, releasing singles that caught the attention of many fans. In 2019, these artists stand a great chance of expanding further and reaching more ears than they did last year.

From Manu WorldStar's lovely pop, to Ranks' version of ATM (African trap music), the refreshing Xhosa rap of Dee Koala, the street raps of Touchline, among others, we bring you a list of South African artists to keep an eye out for in 2019.

*The list is in no particular order.

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#NaturallySuperior is the National Movement Supporting Athlete Caster Semenya

The South African government has launched the movement to support athlete Caster Semenya and her right to compete as she is.

South African athlete and 800m Olympic gold-medalist, Caster Semenya, will be appearing at the Court for Arbitration of Sport next week to argue against the International Association of Athletics Federation's (IAAF) request that she lower her testosterone levels when competing in sporting events. The South African government has launched a nation-wide campaign to rally support for her.

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Interview
Ahrt. Image courtesy of the artist.

The Indie Artist You Need to Listen to This Month: Ahrt

Get into this South African-based Angolan act.

This series features the most exciting independent and alternative artists from Africa and its diaspora. Black artists are complex and multidisciplinary. Every month, we'll introduce the boldest musicians out there that you need to listen to.

South African-based Angolan artist Ahrt is not afraid to share his struggles with mental health and his bi-polar disorder through his music. His songs come from a very personal place; at one point, he equated people judging his music to people judging him as person, even fearing releasing any new material.

Now, Ahrt uses his music to show people that it is possible to persevere through anything and to fight the stigma against mental illness. His therapist was the one who encouraged him to get back to making music. "Art was my way of letting it out. So, I have moved from not doing music because of [my mental health], to doing music because of it," he explains.

We talked to him below.

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