07 November 2013 by Lethabo-Thabo Royds

Popular South African music

The local music scene in South Africa is constantly changing, and many of our musicians have been asked to play at prestigious international festivals and concerts ...  and even at a presidential inauguration.

Hugh Masekela is an internationally famous jazz musician, but there are many other musical genres in which South Africans have made their mark. Photo courtesy of Sally Walton, aka Sallyrango

When many people think of South African music, they think of jazz legend Hugh Masekela (pictured above); songbird Miriam Makeba; reggae musician Lucky Dube; crossover artist Johnny Clegg; or three-time Grammy Award-winning vocal group Ladysmith Black Mambazo. 

But, like the country and its people, music has evolved and South Africans are being recognised in a range of genres, from alternative through to dance/house, hip-hop and vocal.

As a celebration of the local artists who share their craft and love of music with the world, this week we picked five videos to share with you.

Goldfish are made up of South African musical duo Dom Peters and David Poole, whose music is a mix of electronic, house beats and live instruments. Both Peters and Poole play several instruments, do their own production and are multi-talented DJs. Their most recent performances include the 2013 Holi Festival of Colours in São Paulo in September and headlining Amsterdam Live in October this year. 

This song, One Million Views, is off their latest album, Three Second Memory, released in mid-October.

Goldfish: One Million Views ft John Mani

This is from their latest album, Three Second Memory, which launched in October.

Mi Casa are one of the South African acts that performed at United States President Barack Obama's ball to celebrate his re-election. Their music is a mix of house music and jazz. The group consists of lead singer J'Something, producer Dr Duda and trumpeter Mo-T. This group has been recognised at the South African Music Awards for two consecutive years.

Their song Jika, off their latest album, Su Casa, is popular on local radio stations and in clubs. Jika means 'to turn' in IsiZulu. 

Mi Casa: Jika

Jika is from their latest album, Su Casa, which launched in August.

Zakes Bantwini is a self-proclaimed 'Music Mogul'. He rose to fame as the man who discovered L'Vovo Derrango (a local Kwaito star). This song, Ifunaya, was made in collaboration with Nigerian singer-songwriter J Martins. The song is a fantastic example of Bantwini's love for music and his ability to mix genres. It is also great testament to the increasing number of songs that include cross-country collaborations. Bantwini's latest album, on which this song can be found, launched at a popular local club on 1 November 2013.

Ifunaya is an Igbo word (a language spoken in Nigeria) and it means 'love'.

Ifunaya by Zakes Bantwini ft J Martins

Ifunaya is from Bantwini's latest album.

Afrikaans band Die Heuwels Fantasties are another local favourite. The English translation of their name is 'the hills fantastic' and their sound varies from song to song. They are also recipients of multiple Ghoema Awards dedicated to artists who create music in Afrikaans. Die Volkslied means 'the national anthem' in English and comes off their album, Alles Wat Mal Is (meaning 'everything that's crazy').

Die Volkslied by Die Heuwels Fantasties

Die Volkslied is off their latest album, Alles Wat Mal Is.

IFani is one of the favourites on the local hip-hop scene at the moment. He is a recipient of a South African Hip-Hop Award, as well as many other local awards. He raps in IsiXhosa, one of South Africa's nine official languages, but is also loved by those who do not speak the language. His fresh sound and energy make him an emerging artist to watch.

Milli by IFani

Milli is one of IFani's latest releases and is another favourite on local radio stations.

And here are a few more suggestions for your playlist ...

In the hip-hop genre, listen to HHP, who is one of South Africa's favourite vernacular rappers; Jeremy Loops, who is currently touring Europe; and Lira, a multi-platinum singer/songwriter who also sang at Obama's inauguration ball.

Kwaito is a proudly South African genre performed in languages such as IsiZulu and SeSotho. Popular artists include Professor and Kabelo.

For jazz lovers, be sure to listen to Kyle Shepherd as well as Judith Sephuma, who is well respected and a favourite at the Cape Town International Jazz Festival, having performed there more than once.

If you are a music lover, factor in some music venues on your trip (and ask the locals for advice on where the best music can be heard).

Then be sure to take lots of photos and share them with our Love South Africa Flickr Group.

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