After a relatively quiet period following the holiday season, the music industry typically begins to pick up steam in February. This means that artists who release new music in February have a better chance of standing out and attracting more attention than they would at other times of the year. Furthermore, February is frequently associated with Valentine’s Day, and many artists release love-themed songs or albums in celebration of the holiday. Overall, February is a significant month in the music industry, and the new releases that arrive during this time can set the tone for the rest of the year. Let’s see what some artists have put out this month:
Mmatema “My Time is Now!”
Her voice is distinct! Her musicality is unquestionable! Singer and songwriter, Mmatema has paved her way and is now owing her moment with a new single, My Time is Now! Positive affirmations and telling God and the universe what you seek can create your reality. The new single is about the Gospel star sharing how to stay positive in your waiting. She is affirming in trusting the process- “It feels right! The time is right! I’ve learned to understand that when it’s not God’s time you can’t force it, but in God’s time, you won’t stop Him,” says Mmatema. Mmatema has worked with Gospel giants since she caught everyone’s attention as runner-up in Season 11 of SA IDOLS – a worshiper at heart now presenter and turned actress remains faithful to her calling. My Time is Now! Is a heartfelt and inspiring ballad that goes beyond worship and can inspire all music lovers.
Stonebwoy “More Of You”
Ghanaian Afropop, dancehall and beloved reggae artist Stonebwoy released a new single “More Of You”. The track was produced by GRAMMY-nominated American/Jamaican producer Supa Dups and is the third single since Stonebwoy’s historic global signing with Universal Music Group (UMG) label divisions, Def Jam Recordings in the U.S., 0207 Def Jam in the UK and Def Jam Africa in early 2022. A feel-good, sexy love song, “More of You’s” lyrical tenderness comes with a message of longing and desire. Aimed towards his homebrewed ladies, the song is soulful, yet uplifting making it the perfect dancehall track for hot nights on the dancefloor. Stonebwoy always brings love back to Africa and “More of You” remains true to his belief in lighting up his Ghanaian roots, with rhythm, beat and lyrics. After the success of his debut single “Therapy” and follow-up of “Gidigba,” Stonebwoy has been relentlessly touring the globe, headlining festivals and selling out stadiums, whilst working with established international producers.
Sho Madjozi “Chalé“
Superstar and award-winning queen of South African rap Sho Madjozi served up her anxiously awaited new single and music video “Chalé” today via Epic Records. While performing to sold-out audiences in arenas across North America with Stromae at the end of 2022, she cooked up “Chalé” with tourmate, DJ, producer, and collaborator Tboy DaFlame. Together, they channelled the same creative chemistry that catalyzed her viral smash “John Cena.” Sho teased “Chalé” with a brief TikTok post in the middle of the holidays. Fans immediately embraced it as the short clip generated 6 million views. She recently gave the single its live debut with show-stopping performances in Tanzania and Ghana. Propelled by an Amapiano beat, she spits rapid-fire rhymes in Tsonga. Meanwhile, the chantable chorus pops off in English as she proclaims, “You wasn’t there when we were shooting in the gym, back then when the money wasn’t coming in, click click, Sho Madjozi, can I have a pic?” Bound for catchphrase status, “Chalé” possesses multiple meanings. In Ghanaian Pidgin English slang, it could translate to “Dude” or “Homie,” but it also can signify either disappointment or agreement, depending on the context. Right now, Sho Madjozi is preparing more music for release very soon.
Azana ft Ynesa & Knightsa “Higher”
Singer and songwriter Azana ushered in the month of love with a new remix of her 2021 smash hit single, Higher with Ynesa & Knightsa Remix. A love song that speaks of different events in one’s life that brought them happiness, particularly- childhood. The song begins with the phrase “Take me back to the times by the river when we use to swim till late and when we use to play outside all day”. The speaker is asking her lover to make her happy by letting her be herself like how she was when she was younger. Childhood for many is a time where forgiveness is easy, less tension, where we are not afraid to fail, therefore, we are happier and less self-aware… that is why the reference to childhood was so important when describing how the speaker wants to be loved. This remix was made by producer and a self-confessed fan of Azana’s, Ynesa, and after testing it out and receiving a positive reception, Azana greenlighted the single for an official release. “There have been many remixes in many genres that have been made of this song, but this is my favourite. The deep house version has caught people’s attention the most with its soothing soulful sound,” shares Azana. She adds: “I hope this song reminds the listener of the happiest times of their life, that it makes them want to feel those emotions again by allowing their inner child to flourish”.
Skhindi ft Sjava “eTaxini”
Durban-born, Johannesburg-based minibus taxi driver Skhindi has released his debut song eTaxini to excited fans. Taking to social media to reveal his unique rapping talent; Skhindi broke out on the internet last year and sparked music fan interest with braggy verses that showed off his underlying skill. Bringing trap music to the rank, eTaxini is an explosive Zulu Hip Hop song that showcases the elements of South Africa’s busy streets as experienced in a taxi. The whistling melody in the beat plus the iconic popular minibus known as Quantums, hooting throughout the track form the unique Hip hop trap sound that’s never been heard before. Going back to back, Skhindi and Sjava easily exchange rhymes in vernac – delivering an unmatched collaboration for Skhindi’s debut. “I’m so happy to finally debut my music talents on this dope song, especially at the top of 2023. eTaxini is my dedication to life in a taxi as a driver and a commuter. It allows me to bring my life on the road and hip hop together – a perfect combination of all my passions” – said Skhindi in the excitement of releasing his first song. He went on to say, “I had so much fun creating this song with my brother Sjava, and I hope everyone drives along with it or puts it on repeat eTaxini”.
Dan Duminy ft Nasty C “Let Me Down”
Once again, joined by his close industry mates and fellow Durbanite, Dan gets real about love on the new record Let Me Down featuring Nasty C. The trap singer teased the song and the music video on social media after dropping a clip of the music video late last year – creating heightened anticipation from his fans for him to release the song and the fly visuals. Setting the tone for what to expect this year musically – Let Me Down dives into Dan’s ability to fuse pop, rap and trap RnB into one song. Following his hit singles With Us, and Alone – Dan returns to certify his signature trap vocals, alongside Nasty C’s flows for a super slick, classic new wave sound. Getting emotional on Let Me Down, the two drop catchy verses laced with honesty, relationship realities and a classic chorus delivered by Dan Duminy. “It’s so good to be back in South Africa, collaborating again – especially with one of my favourite artists and bro, Nasty C. I’m so excited to drop Let Me Down as a new single as well as a motion picture which we shot in Los Angeles and right here in South Africa with Nani Chehore!” said Dan Duminy in his excitement for Let Me Down. He went on to say “I’ve got a lot planned for the year ahead and I can’t wait for my fans to hear and see what we’ve been up to. Shout Out to everyone who made this song possible and shout out to Nani for directing our video.” Be sure to look out for the music video on your screens.
Lova ft Kay-E, Blacktablet & Neasy Beatz “Let’s Rock U”
‘Let’s Rock U’ honours the music legend Bonginkosi “ZOLA7” Dlamini with the new single ‘LOVA’ featuring talented individuals in the music industry – Kay-E, Blacktablet & Neasy Beatz in a groovy funky and amazingly produced tune. Let’s Rock U offers us a melodic-sounding Amapiano single that transcends space and time with a touch of Sgija. The title of the track provides a chanced moment to reflect and ponder over topics of Tsotsi-taal, taken from them elements of an old kwaito/hip hop tune by Zola, Amu and KB known as Ghetto Scandalous. ‘LOVA’ is one of the versatile tracks presented therein a showcase of featured artists’ ability to play with various sonic elements while sampling legendary melodies and famous lyrics maintaining the power of a lyricist best known as Zola and his songwriting ability. While the song presented offers Kwaito-like vocal delivery, seemingly misplaced, upon the second and third listens one sees that ‘LOVA’ offers a uniquely different reiteration of kwaito and Amapiano/Sgija music as a whole. To the long-time Kwaito fan as well as the avid music listener, they would find this sound a surprise. It is thus an honour to Mzolisto, giving him his flowers while still alive and the privilege to get a glimpse and experience he plays in various musical spaces and now Amapiano.
Jozia ft Young Moses “Money“
Internationally acclaimed South African singer Rose Lukhele, known by her stage name JOZIA has come back stronger than ever after a hiatus from the music scene, the singer releases a new honey single titled Money featuring Young Moses. “I am excited to share my new music. I have had a wonderful experience making this music and experimenting with different sounds and genres and I am looking forward to my fans listening to the new releases,” expresses Jozia. Jozia shows her versatility on Money, with a sharp pen and a refreshing vocal approach to the single, she weaves words together with soulful melodies, switching effortlessly between lyricism and singing. Accompanied by musical arrangements from highly talented producer Kevin Leicher, which are enchanting in their orchestrated clarity, without being intrusive. Jozia is a consummate musical chameleon with an adventurous spirit and a distinctive artistic vision. She loves to experiment with styles, sounds and words, blending genres like acoustic folk, soul, pop and indie rock. And yet her output is so distinctly her own; perhaps it’s her emotive and multifaceted vocals or the courage of her unconventional songwriting. The internationally acclaimed singer has turned a completely new chapter in her career with the release of Money. A lot can be expected from the folk singer in 2023 as she continues to expand her brand both locally and internationally.
The Kabal (2Baba & Larry Gaaga) ft Mi Casa “Bebe”
The Kabal (2Baba & Larry Gaaga) kicks off 2023 with their first official single of the year titled “Bebe”. For this song, the duo tapped on the sonic expertise of the South African trio; Mi Casa to deliver a one-of-a-kind ode to true love. In the song, The Kabal and Mi Casa professed unending and unconditional good loving to the ladies of their dreams, and in return, they ask for the same. It’s worth mentioning that this is the first time Mi Casa has come together to make music since the release of their album “We Made It” in 2020. “Bebe” is the follow-up to the duo’s first single, “Mad Over Hills“ featuring Falz off their forthcoming album. The song was produced by Dr Duda with the trumpet by Mo-T. The visual for the song was shot at Pont de Val, Johannesburg, South Africa and was directed by the South African film production company, Slowman Films.
Ayra Starr “Sability“
Africa’s fastest-rising new music star Ayra Starr returns with ‘Sability’, her first solo single of 2023. Charged with her signature unapologetic style and an infectious, rhythmic dance beat; the track is set to become a new global anthem for a generation living life on their own terms. Ayra Starr said: “I am here to inspire people to be creative and live their best lives in whatever they do which is why I wanted to make this happy song everyone would relate with. Growing up there were some songs I listened to that I would term ‘happy songs’, I decided to lean towards making a high-vibrational song because I wanted to remind people of their childhood joy, what life was before the troubles, and also to transport them to that moment. ‘Sability’ is a happy song which would definitely take you back memory lane, good memories”.
Valerie Omari ft Myke “For You”
Valerie Omari returns with a second single titled ‘For You’, from her upcoming EP Closure, featuring Atlanta-based artist Myke. ‘For You’ follows the major success of the first single from the upcoming project, ‘If I Tried’, which was released in December last year and amassed thousands of fans within the US. ‘For You’ was written at a time of reminiscing, where I noticed changed and wanted to remind the person I was with about my role as a partner and what I would’ve or could’ve done. The production takes you on a whirlwind of emotions as you hear me start with the first line “some days are better than most”, letting the audience know that at that particular day I was not feeling whatever stage of the relationship we were at, at the time,” says Valerie. The addition of Myke to the track adds a subconscious perspective of how Valerie is feeling with regards to not wanting to pursue a relationship and how both individuals are feeding a dying relationship yet choosing to hold on. “Myke’s verse is short but captures a beautiful replay value as he takes us into both the bridge and the chorus,” she adds. ‘For You’ is playful, fun and has more African elements to the sound, produced by South African hitmaker Chvna.
DJ Karri & Deep Saints ft Mfana Kah Gogo & Spux “Saba Julukisa”
New Amapiano sensations have hit the airwaves, capturing the hearts of music lovers across the nation with a new single titled “Saba Julukisa” the latest single from fastest-rising Amapiano artist, DJ Karri & Deep Saints, has taken the music scene by storm with its unique blend of upbeat rhythms, soulful melodies, and infectious beats. This single features Mfana Kah Gogo & Spux. This fresh new sound is a celebration of South Africa’s thriving Amapiano genre and is quickly gaining popularity among fans of all ages. With its catchy hooks, soaring vocals, and dance-inducing beats, “Saba Julukisa” is the perfect party anthem for anyone looking to heat up the dance floor. “We’re thrilled to release this new track, which we believe is the perfect blend of traditional Amapiano sounds and modern beats,” said DJ Karri. “We’re confident that this song will be a hit with fans of the genre and will be a staple of parties and events for the year”.
Rising South African star Vuyina releases Sabela the 2nd single of her highly anticipated debut album – produced by PLXYGRND & Murphy Cubic. Sabela is a spiritual anthem about relying on and asking a higher power for guidance. It’s about the hardships of life getting to a person and they turn to someone else for help. Sabela is a reminder that although life is tough and there are downs, there is always a high that will make you forget about ever being at a low point. Our hearts’ greatest desires are always heard and will always come to fruition at some point in our individual journeys.
Suns of Zu. “Zithande“
Ushering in the month of love, Suns of Zu. has released a special offering for children titled “Zithande” out now via Platoon. The 5-track EP aptly titled “Zithande”, a Nguni word meaning “Love yourself”, is a mother’s prayer for the children of Africa. A soundtrack curated to affirm them every day while teaching them to feel their feelings, love each other, but most importantly, love themselves.“I want this EP to be the soundtrack of everyday living/parenting. A collection of catchy sing-alongs designed to lift the mood. Zithande is also meant to spark self-awareness and love in these children. A cognisance of their connection to the world and people around them” shares Suns of Zu. She adds: “I enjoy expressing and tapping into the child in me. As a mum, it’s such a humbling and exciting process to make music not only for my kids but for the kids of South Africa and the world”. “Zithande” is the first of many children’s releases set to come out via Platoon this year. No stranger to releasing music for children, “Zithande” follows Platoon’s highly successful release of two African Lullabies projects which featured lullabies from artists such as Ami Faku, Msaki, TRESOR, Azana, Teni, Simi, Ayra Starr, Asa, and WurlD, just to highlight a few.
The world’s number one ultra-premium vodka brand, Cîroc, celebrated the brand’s acclaimed ‘Cirocstar’ – Daliwonga. On Friday, 10th of February, Amapiano singer and songwriter, Daliwonga, dropped his widely anticipated single ‘10KM’ and to celebrate the incredible hype, Cîroc hosted an exclusive party celebrating the star’s moves. The single release party was hosted at the plush Opera restaurant situated in the social buzz district, Rosebank Johannesburg. The celebration saw the likes of Bontle Smith, TXC Tarryn, Vyno Miller and many more gather and enjoy sweet sounds and perfect sips of Cîroc cocktails on offer.
Mia “What Is Love?“
Sony Music Entertainment Africa is excited to announce the latest addition to its star-studded roster – Mia! With her fresh and soulful voice, Mia has been making waves in the digital space and is poised to take the world by storm. Mia’s debut single, “What is love,” is a powerful and emotive track that showcases her incredible talent and sets the tone for what’s to come from this rising star. With a combination of heartfelt lyrics and a powerful vocal performance, “What is love” is sure to resonate with audiences around the country. Mia’s signing with Sony Music Entertainment Africa is a testament to her incredible potential and her dedication to creating music that touches people’s hearts. With the full support of Sony Music behind her, Mia is ready to make her mark on the music industry and cement her status as one of the most exciting new artists to watch in 2023.
This is a list and a half! Let us know which releases are your favourites!