back to top

5 South African Artists Every Music Fan Needs To Hear Before They Die

An eclectic mix of dance, pop, and jazz from the rainbow nation hand-picked by Nozinja.

Posted on

1. This is Nozinja. In South Africa, he's a living legend.

Warp Records.

He's the originator or Shangaan Electro, a doubletime style of dance music that infuses traditional South African disco with neon synth grooves.

We asked Nozinja, who is currently in New York to perform with fellow contemporary electronic African musicians for the Red Bull Music Academy Festival, which other artists in his native country every music fan needs to hear.

2. Mafikizolo

View this video on YouTube

Nozinja says: Mafikizolo is a duo of a lady and a gentleman [Nhlanhla Nciza and Theo Kgosinkwe]. They make very vibrant afro pop that mixes the old and the new, traditional african music and electronic house. When I'm at home, they're all I listen to.

3. Hugh Masekela

View this video on YouTube

Nozinja says: Hugh Masekela is an african jazz legend. He has a soft way with the trumpet, nice and mellow. When I'm relaxing and I don't want to be disturbed, I just put him on.

4. Thomas Chauke

View this video on YouTube

Nozinja says: He's out of this world. No one has ever played or is playing better than that gentleman on guitar and bass. This is traditional Shangaan music. For musicians in South Africa, he's like our father. I listen to him like a student listening to the master.

5. DJ Spoko

View this video on YouTube

Nozinja says: DJ Spoko is a genius. After I came up with Shangaan Electro, he said he wanted a new style to dance to in Pretoria [laughs]. So he came up with his own style of bass and drums. The guy is good.

The best things at three price points