Welcome to our comprehensive guide to South African music! This diverse country is rich with a variety of musical styles, from the infectious beats of South African house music to the soul-stirring sounds of traditional African music. With its unique blend of influences from Africa, Europe, and the Americas, South African music has gained global recognition for its distinctive rhythms and melodies.
Have you ever wondered what the popular South African sound is? You’re in the right place! In this post, we’ll explore the history of South African music, its different genres, and the evolution of its unique sound. Along the way, we’ll answer questions like, “What type of music is played in South Africa?” and “What sets South African music apart from other styles?”
But that’s not all! We’ll also cover some of the hottest South African artists and tracks of the moment, and give you an inside peek into the South African music scene. And if you’re curious about which South African musicians have won major awards, we’ve got you covered – we’ll also take a look at the South African Music Award for Record of the Year.
So, whether you’re a die-hard fan of South African music or looking to broaden your musical horizons, this guide has everything you need to know about the vibrant world of South African music. Let’s dive in!
South African House Music
South African house music is a unique genre that originated in the townships of South Africa in the 1980s. It’s a fusion of African rhythms and electronic music that has gained popularity worldwide. Here’s what you need to know about this exciting music genre:
Origins of South African House Music
South African house music originated in the townships of South Africa during the apartheid era. It was a form of resistance against the government’s oppressive policies, and the music provided an escape from the harsh realities of daily life.
Characteristics of South African House Music
- High-energy beats that are influenced by traditional African rhythms.
- Use of repetitive loops and samples.
- The incorporation of South African languages in the lyrics.
- Upbeat tempo that’s perfect for dancing.
Famous South African House Music Artists
- Black Coffee: He’s one of the biggest names in the industry and has collaborated with international artists such as Alicia Keys and Drake.
- DJ Zinhle: She’s one of the most prolific female DJs in South Africa and has won numerous awards for her music.
- Culoe De Song: He’s a producer and DJ known for his unique take on the genre.
South African House Music Festivals
South Africa is famous for its music festivals, and house music features prominently in many of them. Some of the popular festivals include:
- Ultra South Africa: This international festival features top DJs and electronic music acts from around the world.
- Cape Town Electronic Music Festival: It focuses on promoting local talent and showcases the best of South African house music.
- Oppikoppi: It’s one of the oldest festivals in South Africa and is known for its diverse lineup that features a mix of genres, including house music.
South African house music is a genre that’s full of energy and vitality. It’s a fusion of traditional African rhythms and electronic music that has captured the imagination of music fans worldwide. Whether you’re looking to dance the night away or simply want to explore new and exciting sounds, South African house music is definitely worth checking out.
What is the Popular South African Sound?
When it comes to South African music, there are many different sounds and styles to choose from. However, there are a few key genres that are particularly popular with listeners both in South Africa and around the world. Here are just a few of the most prominent South African music styles:
Kwaito is a unique style of South African house music that originated in the townships of Johannesburg and Pretoria in the early 1990s. With its deep basslines, catchy melodies, and often socially conscious lyrics, kwaito has become one of the most popular music genres in South Africa over the past few decades.
Gqom is a relatively new music genre that emerged from Durban, South Africa in the early 2010s. Gqom is characterized by its hard basslines, minimalistic beats, and unique sound effects, which often include vocal samples from movies and TV shows.
Maskandi is a traditional style of Zulu folk music that is popular in rural areas of KwaZulu-Natal province. Maskandi music is usually performed by a solo artist armed with an acoustic guitar, and it often includes traditional Zulu rhythms and melodies.
Afro-pop is a catch-all term that refers to a wide range of popular music styles in Africa. In South Africa, Afro-pop often includes elements of traditional African music, such as mbira and marimba, as well as modern genres like hip-hop and R&B.
Jazz has been popular in South Africa since the early twentieth century, and it remains a vibrant and important part of the country’s music scene today. South African jazz often incorporates elements of traditional African rhythms and melodies, as well as influences from American jazz icons like Duke Ellington and John Coltrane.
- There are many different styles of music in South Africa, but some of the most popular include kwaito, gqom, maskandi, afro-pop, and jazz.
- Kwaito is a unique style of South African house music that originated in the townships of Johannesburg and Pretoria in the early 1990s.
- Gqom is a relatively new music genre that emerged from Durban, South Africa in the early 2010s.
- Maskandi is a traditional style of Zulu folk music that is popular in rural areas of KwaZulu-Natal province.
- Afro-pop is a catch-all term that refers to a wide range of popular music styles in Africa.
- Jazz has been popular in South Africa since the early twentieth century, and it remains a vibrant and important part of the country’s music scene today.
What type of music is played in South Africa?
South Africa is a culturally diverse country with a rich musical heritage that has evolved over time. The country has many ethnicities, and each has contributed to the growth and development of music in South Africa. Here are some of the different types of music played in South Africa:
Traditional music is an integral part of South Africa’s culture. It is often performed at celebrations, such as weddings and funerals, and it has different styles and genres depending on the region. Here are some examples:
- Isicathamiya: A cappella choral music that originated in the Zulu community and is characterized by a soft, harmonious sound.
- Maskandi: Music that is popular in KwaZulu-Natal and is characterized by the use of a guitar, a concertina, and a distinctive high-pitched vocal style.
- Mbaqanga: A genre of music that was popularized in the 1960s by artists such as Miriam Makeba and Ladysmith Black Mambazo. It is a fusion of rural Zulu music and Western jazz.
South Africa’s popular music scene has been influenced by various genres from around the world, including jazz, hip-hop, and kwaito, a genre that originated in the townships during the 1990s. Here are some popular genres:
- Afro-pop: A popular genre that blends African rhythms and western pop music.
- Gqom: A genre that originated in Durban characterized by a minimalist sound and repetitive, staccato rhythms.
- House music: A genre that originated in Chicago and was popularized in South Africa in the 1990s. It has since evolved into various sub-genres such as deep house, kasi house, and amapiano.
Gospel music plays an essential role in the worship and spiritual life of many South Africans. It has evolved over time and has various styles depending on the church or denomination. Here are some popular sub-genres:
- African Gospel Music: This genre blends traditional African rhythms and musical styles with Christian lyrics.
- Urban Gospel Music: This style of gospel music draws influence from contemporary R&B and hip-hop music.
In conclusion, South Africa has a diverse and exciting music scene, with various traditional, popular, and gospel genres. The music scene continues to grow, and new artists emerge every year, showcasing the country’s rich cultural diversity, talent, and passion for music.
South African Music Award for Record of the Year
South African music awards have always been a big deal, and the Record of the Year is one of the most coveted categories. The category always features the best of the best, with each nominee vying for the coveted title. Here’s everything you need to know about the South African Music Award for Record of the Year.
The Selection Process
Before we dive into the nominees and winners, it’s important to understand the selection process. The selection process for the Record of the Year category involves music industry professionals who are tasked with listening to all the songs submitted for consideration. From there, they narrow down their selection to the top five songs before the public votes for their favorite. This system ensures that the nominees are of the highest quality and that the public is the ultimate decider of the winner.
Over the years, we have seen some iconic songs take home the Record of the Year award. These are some of the past winners who have left an indelible mark on the South African music scene:
- “Jerusalema” by Master KG feat. Nomcebo Zikode (2020)
- “Ngiyaz’fela Ngawe” by Kwesta feat. Thabsie (2017)
- “Ngud” by Kwesta feat. Cassper Nyovest (2016)
- “Caracara” by K.O feat. Kid X (2014)
- “Loliwe” by Zahara (2012)
The 2021 South African Music Award for Record of the Year is yet to be announced, but we can make some educated guesses based on the year’s most successful songs. Here are some potential nominees:
- “Emathandweni” by Zandie Khumalo feat. Lindani
- “Amanikiniki” by MFR Souls feat. Major League Djz, Kamo Mphela, and Bontle Smith
- “Umsebenzi Wethu” by Busta 929 & Mpura feat. Zuma, Mr JazziQ, Lady Du, and Reece Madlisa
- “Ke Star” by Focalistic feat. Vigro Deep
- “John Vuli Gate” by Mapara A Jazz feat. Ntosh Gaz and Colano
The South African Music Award for Record of the Year is one of the most prestigious awards in the South African music scene, and each nominee is a testament to the industry’s creativity and talent. From past winners like Zahara to potential nominees like Focalistic, the South African music industry continues to produce groundbreaking music that resonates with the public. We can’t wait to see who takes home the award this year.