Along with its several, distinct natural ecosystems, South Africa boasts an eclectic music scene with budding talent and a range of genres from the traditional styles like Jive and Kwaito to new genres like SA’s Amapiano and interpretations of Rock, R&B, and Hip-Hop. We’re excited to introduce you to five artists from South Africa we think you should know.
Known widely for his work with The Muffinz, Simz Kulla is a well-rounded creative with strengths in music production, specifically vocal production. His music career was born in 2008 when he joined the UJ Choir. This is where he met the other members of The Muffinz, where they released albums and singles off critical acclaim during the period 2012 – 2019.
His music can be described as charged afrocentric soul, a unique blend of funk, soul, jazz and African folk music that ignite this charged ‘electricity’. His smooth vocals give a pleasant twist to this heated genre while his band, The Automatikz, feature in the music and are a force in their own right. The style of music is refreshing in an era where pop music could be defined as any genre that has support and traction. Simz Kulla is adding his flavour to the conversation.
Limpopo-born Benny Afroe is a young, fresh, musically trained African talent on the cusp of taking on the global music scene. With his modern AfroPop sound which he blends with AfroBeats, AfroSoul, Hip-Hop, and R&B, Benny Afroe’s range as a budding, multi-faceted artist knows no bounds. Recently, the AFDA (the South African School for Motion Picture and Live Performance) graduate has worked up an impressive list of collaborations including South Africa’s Female Artist of The Year, Ami Faku, on his single ”This Feeling,” and teamed up with fellow Limpopo superstar King Monada on a party single ”Diawa” In 2021, Benny Afroe released his debut 8-track EP Yours Truly [Vth Season].
Benny Afroe has a prolific social media presence, focusing on fashion and urban trends and is the co-founder of the fashion and music event Drip Sundays, regularly featured at Urban Music Lounge and upcoming Yacht Party, that serves as a social gathering for the most influential people in the South African entertainment industry. To date, the rising star has secured brand partnerships with international brands Jagermeister, Diesel, Crocs and PUMA.
Hometown: Cape Town
South African singer Boskasie has a bag full of tricks. Not only has she displayed a rare ability to explore eclectic soul in her singles such as the chart-topping “Make Me Feel”, she’s also displayed her singular range on features like Cassper Nyovest’s platinum-selling single, “Move For Me.” Some have described her music as following an authentic urban contemporary sound, while others experience it as neo-soul. This unique cross-genre appeal is what makes Boskasie so special – you can’t quite box her.
Her recently released debut EP, We Are Gold delves deep into the sounds of ghoema and yaadt as forms of musical expression. “This EP is a reminder that we as people of colour are gold,” she says. The EP’s lead single “Get Racks” is a futuristic, london-garagen inspired single featuring award-winning superstar rapper YoungstaCPT. The song is ultimately about Boskasie as a woman of colour, about her life in music and taking ownership of everything she’s gone through to get to this point thus far. It hasn’t been easy but as she says in the song, “if you keep your head on the right track, then you get that really good rack (money)”.
Not one to be boxed in, 21-year-old South African singer and songwriter Fentse. has crafted an
evolving sound that transcends typical genre boundaries. Like her own sound, her taste in music is ever evolving: ranging from melancholy and ambient to experimental and upbeat. Her unique style of alternative R&B has taken on a life of its own and blends the sounds of some of her major influences, including the likes of Billie Eilish, Solange, Blood Orange, and Willow Smith.
Over the years she has developed a whispery and dreamy vocal inflection, a unique style which bodes well for thoughtful instrumental arrangements like that on her latest single, Good Goodbye.
Jst Sako (real name Ntsako Manentsa) was born and raised in a small township named Daveyton – where he made his first beat, sung his first note, and wrote and spewed his first bars. Formerly known as ‘King Jay,’ the multi-talented singer, songwriter and record producer has been building his music career and amassing legions of fans since the release of his debut single, “Dark Skin Girl” which secured a spot at #2 on Apple Music’s Top 40 Africa playlist.
Jst Sako’s music can be described as heartfelt stories that take your mind through a journey of deep thoughts, feelings and introspection while contrasted with infectious beats, great vocals, exceptional songwriting skills, stellar production, dope hooks and soulful performances that keep the listener yearning for more.