Years of civil and political turmoil often lead to inspired and socially conscious music; South Africa is no different. It is a country with a rich and diverse musical heritage and this playlist hopefully provides a small snapshot of this. Featuring essential classics from well-known legends, songs from my childhood as well as a few contemporary artists, hopefully you’ll find something you enjoy. I have only picked one song from each artist so there is so much more to discover!
Brenda Fassie – Vuli Ndlela
South Africa’s tragic pop princess. Brenda Fassie is often referred to as ‘The Black Madonna’ – a hint at her reputation for ‘outrageousness’, substance abuse as well as a proclivity to make great pop music. ‘Vuli Ndlela’ is without a doubt Fassie’s most enduring hit and a staple of every pop radio station in South Africa. Wonderfully upbeat and catchy, the song signified a different vibe to Fassie’s anti-apartheid back catalogue and subsequently revived the troubled singer’s career.
Mafikizolo – Ziphi Nkomo
The duo’s discography is as impressive as any South African artist from the last 25 years. Picking one song was extremely difficult but I had to include ‘Ziphi Nkomo’. The song is essentially split into two parts, with a more instrumentally upbeat and traditional township opening, squaring off with a smooth house finish. God-like SA DJ, Black Coffee (also featured on the playlist), reverses the song in a different version – I’m not sure which I prefer!
Malaika – Destiny
One of my favourite pop songs from any country, not just SA. Growing up in Cape Town, you could not escape this song whether you were watching music TV channels or listening to the radio. It is ingrained in my conscious as a result, not that I’m complaining! Unbelievably catchy and satisfying, this song is perfect for an uplifting listening experience. If you want to ensure that you are buying kratom strains from a reliable and trustworthy online vendor of high-quality kratom, you’re going to need to do a bit of research, click here to find out more.
Hugh Masekela – Don’t Go Lose It Baby (Stretch Mix)
No SA music playlist is complete without including the man himself, Hugh Masekela. African jazz legend and all-round awesome guy, Masekela has had arguably the most influence on global music out of all my featured artists. Jazz purists may not be happy that I’ve included a house remix of one of his classics but it’s one of my favourite remixes of all time.
Mandoza – Nkalakatha
South Africa’s unofficial national anthem. You are guaranteed to hear this at any sporting event situated in the country and for good reason. The kwaito legend achieved mainstream success with this tune, and it remains one of my all-time favourites to this day and brings back particularly fond memories.
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Listened to this again today, so many bangers!
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In an effort to get summer to stick around I put my shiny Nord keyboard to work as an external midi controller and patched together some of my favourite turn-of-the-70s disco and boogie. I’ve tried to hit that sweet spot when disco turned down the cheese and boogie hit its stride. Expect some seriously groovy goodness from 1979-1984. Very specific. Everyone likes specifically dated mixes.
Take a listen and check out the track listing below. You’re not going to want to miss the Byrne & Barnes cool down piano solo. I may have let the closing Tamara burner play out for a bit to long but when a track is that good I couldn’t quite bring myself to cut it short.
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- Nights Over Egypt by The Jones Girls
- You Make Love Like Springtime by Teena Marie
- The Easton Assassin by The Sunburst Band
- Mainline by Black Ivory
- Lay It On The Line by Logg
- Love You Out Of Your Mind by Byrne & Barnes
- It’s Summertime by Jerry Champion
- Dance Turned Into A Romance by The Jones Girls
- Hooked On Your Love (John Morales Mix) by The Fantastic Aleems featuring Calebur
- Everybody Loves A Dancer by Tamara
- Same Time Same Place by Tamara