Hold onto your headphones, buckle up, turn up the volume, and get ready to experience a musical journey like no other, as we dive headfirst into the hottest new releases that are sure to dominate the airwaves and leave a lasting mark on the world of music. Get ready, music lovers, because the revolution is here, and it sounds absolutely incredible!
Whitney April “Fighters”
Stream/Download/Buy here: https://music.empi.re/fighters
South Africa has produced some of the globe’s most iconic musicians such as trumpeter Hugh Masekela, singer Miriam Makeba, and rock star Dave Matthews. As the Rainbow Nation’s post-millennial population comes of age, there’s a new voice arising from among them to represent a new generation of creatives, Whitney April. The honey-voiced Cape Town born singer releases a sonic declaration in the league of Katy Perry’s “Roar” and Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” just ahead of International Women’s Day. Kicking off with a pounding drum beat that also serves as a triumphant call-to-action, “Fighters” hits the ears with affirmations that speak to the challenges of everyday life in the 21st century with a promise that things will get better. “If I made it, you can make it too,” Whitney April proclaims in her bright vocal tone on the commanding Pop anthem that is sure to birth a new generation of confident, inspiring warriors. We’re Fighters and we’re never going to give up, we’re in this together and we will win! “Releasing fighters for me means more than just putting out another song. The message of the song is so powerful and I hope that it speaks to and uplifts anyone who listens. I want people to know that whatever they’re facing they are not alone and they will make it through. It’s a song that personally touched me, every time I sing it, it’s like a declaration that I’m more than a conqueror and that I can overcome anything,” shares Whitney April. Gearing up for her debut EP release with Arete Records under the international management of Wade Jordan, manager of GRAMMY® Award-winning R&B singer and Maroon 5 keyboardist PJ Morton, Whitney April is poised to impact people of all ages.
PAXTON “Touch & Go”
Stream/Download/Buy here: https://lnk.to/Paxton
Internationally recognised recording artist, PAXTON, has released her much-anticipated new single, ‘Touch & Go’ that will have fans excited for her sophomore album. PAXTON makes a statement with the first single off her upcoming album signalling to her core fan base that she has returned and is indeed one of South Africa’s most talented stars. With ‘Touch & Go’ PAXTON ushers in a new era exploring the boundaries and fluidity of R&B, Soul, Afrobeats, Pop and Amapiano. The inspiration behind ‘Touch and Go’ was through a conversation PAXTON had with her friends about how difficult and complex dating can be these days, especially as a young professional focused on their career and goals. The message of the song is one that everyone can relate to and PAXTON had lots of fun creating it. “It has always been important to me that my audience grows with me and I take them on this journey. Music is the way I choose to express myself, I am in the most vulnerable space when I am in the studio and always hope that people will get to know me and experience who I am when listening to my music. This is a new era, I have entered a new season and I am really excited to introduce my core audience to this new version of
Bongeziwe Mabandla “ukuthanda wena“
Stream/Download/Buy here: https://platoon.lnk.to/ukuthanda-wena
On his new single “ukuthanda wena” (translation – loving you – full lyrics translation here), we find Mabandla exploring ”heartache and the dark side of love”, delivering a universal message of what it feels like to feel spurned in love, through a dark atmospheric song that’s hard to shake. “Sometimes you can have the purest and most beautiful intentions for someone but they can be met in the most horrible way,” says the multi-award-winning artist. “Sometimes being a hopeless romantic and love-obsessed person can end up making you look like a fool,” says Mabandla. In creating the music for this searingly honest track, Mabandla and his collaborator, producer Tiago Correia-Paulo (Tumi and The Volume and 340ml) tapped into the darkness gestured at in the song’s lyrics resulting in a drum-heavy pitched-down techno-esque production. “The emotional resonance of the production comes from the balancing act of layering instruments – like synths and various percussive elements – to achieve a build-up, but never discarding its imminent release and return to simplicit” says Correia-Paulo. “ukuthanda wena” follows the recently-released “noba bangathini”, both taken from Mabandla’s forthcoming new studio album “amaXesha” which will be released in April 2023. Bongeziwe Mabandla will tour through South Africa in late April & May and has just announced a UK live show. June 1st @ The 100 Club, London, tickets are available here at wegottickets.com and dice.fm.
ADO “BACK HOME”
Stream/Download/Buy here: https://ditto.fm/backhome
“BACK HOME” is the brand new track by British-Ghanaian entrepreneur and music maker – ADO, which went live across all DSPs this March. A love letter to his ancestral land, “Home” is his first official single of 2023, inspired by his move to Ghana. This, combined with frequent trips to South Africa, where he has solidified and nurtured his love for Afro House music. A genre that takes deep influences from the instruments played in the townships of South Africa and continues to influence and inspire popular culture as it is today. ADO says “Moving back to Ghana has been a long-term goal of mine. Nothing beats home and this record is my personal way of paying homage. Afro House is special. My frequent trips to South Africa – specifically Durban have been life-changing. From the DJ’ing, the culture and the music is something from out of this world. My sound is also my way of paying homage to this scene. I’m literally a ‘Son of the soil’. I hope you love this record as much as I do.”
Mellow & Sleazy x Tmanxpress Ft Keynote “Kwelinye”
Stream/Download/Buy here: https://mellowandsleazy.lnk.to/kwelinye
Mellow, Sleazy & Tmanxpress, released their latest single, “Kwelinye” featuring Keynote. The new song is a powerful anthem that speaks about strength through spiritual healing and the courage to push through tough situations. “Kwelinye” reflects the artist’s unique and versatile sound, which blends Amapiano with elements of deep house, Bacardi, and kwaito. The track is a fusion of soulful vocals, intricate beats, and emotive lyrics, all of which come together to create a moving and inspiring experience for listeners. The song’s message is particularly relevant in today’s world, where many people are facing challenges and uncertainties. “Kwelinye” encourages listeners to draw strength from their spirituality and to use it as a tool to overcome adversity. The lyrics also highlight the importance of resilience and the ability to keep pushing forward, even when times are tough. Mellow, Sleazy & Tmanxpress are no strangers to the music scene, having made a name for themselves with their previous hits such as “Amasango”. Their unique sound and ability to connect with audiences have earned them a dedicated following, and “Kwelinye” is sure to be a hit with fans and newcomers alike. The guys are excited to share their new single with the world and look forward to continuing to create music that inspires and uplifts.
Kiddo CSA Ft. Monique Lawz “Window“
Stream/Download/Buy here: https://warnermusicafrica.lnk.to/Window
Kiddo CSA enters 2023 with his hot new single ‘Window.’ Window serves as an introduction to Kiddo CSA’s yet-to-be-titled upcoming EP. Both the lead single and the EP feature undeniably talented producers and artists from around the world. Birth in London at Warner’s Emerging Markets Songwriting Camp in October last year, His sophomore is Kiddo’s global view on one body of work, as he is quoted saying: “K.i.d.d. the O is overseas”. Featured on this banger is Moniqué Lawz, a London-based R&B singer-songwriter who has collaborated with Pharrell Williams and Murda Beatz. Her verse is delivered with a sassiness that harmonizes with Kiddo CSA’s effortless flow. Produced by Karan Kanchan, India based producer with credits on songs by Vince Staples, Pusha T, and many more, ‘Window’ proves to be a collaboration of three top talents that are no strangers to delivering hits. While Kiddo CSA’s previous single, ‘Blessed,’ was a ‘soft life’ anthem and reflection on all that he’s achieved; ‘Window’ is a cool kid’s anthem and reminder to keep grinding. ‘Window’ is a fast-paced prelude to his upcoming EP. The EP follows suit with features and producers from around the world. Kiddo CSA’s sophomore EP will be released at the end of March.
Easy Freak x Langa Mavuso “All I Want”
Watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t8purjcWeMU
SA’s well-established Pop duo, EASY FREAK, has their fans falling in love again! This time they have collaborated with talented singer-songwriter, Langa Mavuso, on their new single, “All I Want”. A groovy love ballad with a nostalgic RnB sound of the late 90’s and early 2000’s; the single is the first release from the duo this year and is taken off their EP titled “If You Want It”. “When we made this song, we wanted to take it back to the late ’90s and early 2000s and incorporate an RnB sound along with a beat so that people can dance to it as well” – the duo explains. The beautiful and warm music video, directed by Avi Mack and filmed by Jared Hinde, shows Langa Mavuso serenading behind the piano, as it moves through the light change of an eclipse. It crescendos into all three faces connecting at the end, capturing the beauty and emotion of the song. “The song came about so organically”, says Dom Hurd of EASY FREAK. “We’ve always wanted to work with Langa, just listen to that voice! After Jude and I had finished writing the chorus of ‘All I Want’, we were discussing who might be a good fit for the song, and it just had to be him.”
ShaunMusiq & Ftears x Duppy Ft. Myztro, Mellow & Sleazy, Quayr Musiq & Matuteboy “Bhebha”
Stream/Download/Buy here: https://sonymusicafrica.lnk.to/BHEBHA
ShaunMusiq and Ftears, the dynamic musical duo from Soshanguve, have released their latest single, ‘Bhebha’ together with Duppy. The new track is a Bacardi remake of the old Bhebha single that took the music scene by storm in the olden days. Now the duo is bringing this banger back fresh as ever with a touch of Amapiano to it. The single features Myztro, Mellow & Sleazy, Quayr Musiq & Matuteboy. The single follows up after their two-track EP titled, ‘THATAUSHAKA’. The new single is sure to ignite dance floors across the country. ShaunMusiq and Ftears started their journey in 2018 and have since become one of the most exciting new acts in South Africa’s music scene. In 2019, Ftears taught ShaunMusiq how to DJ, and his musical talents quickly expanded beyond hip-hop production. Inspired by the musical streets of Pretoria and the rise of Amapiano, the duo fell in love with the familiar sound of Bacardi and set out to create their own unique spin on it. Their first album, ‘Skrr Thang II’, was released in 2021, and their hit song ‘Thateka’ from 2022 amassed over a million views on YouTube. The duo has since collaborated with some of the industry’s biggest names, including Daliwonga, Myztro, Mellow & Sleazy, Robot BoIi, and Freddy K just to mention a few. ‘Bhebha’ is an exciting new release from ShaunMusiq and Ftears, and their fans will undoubtedly be thrilled to hear their fresh take on the Bacardi sound. With their rising popularity and growing influence in the music scene, the duo is confident of even greater success in the future.
Bokani Dyer “Tiya Mowa“
Stream/Download/Buy here: https://bokanidyer.lnk.to/RadioSechabaIN
South African pianist, singer and composer Bokani Dyer, an established multi-award-winning artist with a growing global reputation shares “Tiya Mowa”, the beautiful second single taken for his forthcoming album Radio Sechaba on Brownswood Recordings. Sung in the Setswana language “Tiya Mowa” celebrates self-strength over an uplifting mix of deep bass grooves, soulful piano and incandescent vocal harmonies. Set for release on 12 May 2023, Radio Sechaba addresses themes of nation-building and unity, giving an intimate view into South Africa’s multifaceted people and an opportunity for global connection through music. The album continues Dyer’s creative journey of making rich and immersive music. It places him amongst the new wave of South African jazz artists, including the likes of Siya Makuzeni and Nduduzo Makhathini. Known to many for his standout contribution to Brownswood’s Indaba Is compilation, Dyer’s multi-faceted influences permeate the set of 15 original songs, resulting in a rewarding listening experience.
Valerie Omari “Closure“
Stream/Download/Buy here: https://platoon.lnk.to/closure-rb
International Singer and Songwriter, Valerie Omari released her much anticipated second EP titled Closure out now via Platoon. Following the success of her debut EP, ‘Therefore I Am’, which was met with rave reviews from fans and critics, Valerie is yet again on a mission to share another body of musical artwork. After entering the music scene in 2018 and now living in Houston Texas, Valerie quickly learned, that in order for her to stay grounded and focused, she would need to stay close to people who have always had her best interests at heart. As a talented artist known for her R&B and Hip-Hop influenced sound, she knows how guidance is vital to her music career. “Closure” is a reflection of the journey and emotions experienced during the end of a relationship. Through a blend of different sounds, languages, and cultures, Valerie was able to channel pain and self-discovery into an understanding of what was no longer for her. “The songs are designed to tell a story, each serving as a chapter of a moment in my life, and the track list was carefully chosen to reflect this,” shares Valerie Omari. She adds: “The EP is an exploration of self-awareness and therapy, and I hope that listeners will take the time to listen to each song in order to fully appreciate the story being told”.
Amanda Black “Nguwe”
Stream/Download/Buy here: https://sonymusicafrica.lnk.to/amandablack
Amanda Black returns with her signature mix of Afro Pop, hip hop, R&B, and deeply-rooted Xhosa influences to deliver an inspirational message of returning to self and self-love with her new single “Nguwe”. The single comes as Amanda Black gears up to release her fourth studio album, featuring new songs with her signature sound infusing R&B Soul and tribal African melodies. As she grows and discovers herself as an individual, a spiritual being and a musician, Amanda is on a journey of self-discovery. The music reflects on the better and more hopeful space she has come to in this journey, the single “Nguwe” sets the tone and follows the theme of the upcoming album. The music is about falling in love with self and honouring yourself by self-acceptance. The overall theme and message are spiritual reconnection and trusting herself with her music.
Fezeka Dlamini “Ewe Jesu”
Stream/Download/Buy here: https://sonymusicafrica.lnk.to/ewejesu
KwaZulu-Natal-born spark plug, Fezeka Dlamini taps into the Gospel fraternity to express gratitude to God through her latest offering ‘Ewe Jesu’. Hailing from a small town in the West of Durban, Pinetown, this rising high school music sensation aims to bring the church to the tips of the listeners’ fingers through her new single. This track also shares a personal touch of Dlamini’s background as she lost her parents at a young age being left to be raised by her aunt whom she refers to as her Mother. Fezeka challenges herself with her music to tell her story, encourage those who get to be exposed to it and empower those who have lost hope. “I want to remind those who listen to Ewe Jesu to don’t forget to give things to God and you don’t have to go to Church to be able to praise God.” Said Dlamini on the new single. ‘Ewe Jesu’ features Mfana kah Gogo and Minero who both bring a taste of youth and an Amapiano touch to the serenading sounds of Fezeka Dlamini. Speaking around the meaning of ‘Ewe Jesu’ Fezeka says “Ewe Jesu means, yes Lord, my soul and life, only wants you.”
Scumie “Quick Fix”
Stream/Download/Buy here: https://scumie.lnk.to/QuickFixPR
Jozi-based trap rapper, singer and songwriter Scumie is back in 2023 with another star-studded collab track Quick Fix. Engineered for the clubs and streets, Scumie brings her no-nonsense, yet playful attitude back with a free-form, smooth flow that anchors the track between two heavyweight verses dropped by SA’s hot favourite Roiii, as well as award-winning Ghanaian identical twins, rappers and producers, DopeNation. Quick Fix has been highly anticipated by her social media following, and her guest artists are a testament to her rising star. From the Skhanda World family of rappers, Roiii is one of the hottest free-flowing rappers to emerge from SA in the past few years, and adding DopeNation to the mix is a stroke of genius, welcoming continental mega-stardom into the picture and sound of this party track. Scumie, styled by the streets with a natural swag, is a no-frills kinda girl. Influenced and comparable to females of the genre such as Bktherula, she admits to allowing her trap flow to evolve as she matures, even if that means her chosen genre is no longer definable. No matter her rapping style, Scumie’s artistic development is one that her fans welcome with open arms.
Abigail Chams x Marioo “Nani?”
Stream/Download/Buy here: https://sonymusicafrica.lnk.to/nani
Fiery songstress Abigail Chams graces us with her new single titled “Nani?” which is set to drop on Thursday, March 16th The singer and instrumentalist collaborates with Tanzanian superstar Marioo known for his poetry, vocals and writing abilities making this collaboration one of the biggest for East Africa this 2023. Nani fuses the popular East African music genre Bongo Flava and South African global Sound Amapiano. The club banger, Nani? which means “who?” in kiswahili is the first single from Abigail Chams upcoming EP expected to drop later this year. Nani ? has premiered at the Dotty Show. Abigail, who has dreamt of becoming a global superstar since the age of 5 years, is also a UNICEF Ambassador for Mental Health and Gender-Based Violence and has been hosted on the popular American show, The Kelly Clarkson Show.
Priddy Prince x Zoocci Coke Dope “After All”
Stream/Download/Buy here: https://distrokid.com/hyperfollow/priddyprince1/after-all-feat-zoocci-coke-dope
Priddy Prince and Zoocci Coke Dope have collaborated on a new single called “After All,” which addresses the difficulties of balancing a successful career and personal relationships. The song tells the story of a girl who craves her significant other’s attention but is constantly thwarted by his demanding work schedule. “After All,” with its melodic production by Zoocci Coke Dope and smooth delivery by Priddy Prince, is an emotional and relatable track that will have listeners reflecting on their own experiences.
Major League DJz X Major Lazer “Piano Republik”
Stream/Download/Buy here: https://maddecent.ffm.to/PianoRepublik
Piano Republik is a collaborative album from South African superstars Major League DJz and Major Lazer. The two groups share a new track, “Mambgobhozi,” which features a vocal sample from the late South African singer and activist Brenda Fassie’s “Vuli Ndlela”. “Brenda Fassie was not only an icon, but she inspired many black South Africans to be their authentic selves,” Major League DJz say. “Her energy was infectious on and off the stage. Her music catalogue brought joy to the many South Africans that filled stadiums to see her perform and is a true reflection of South African history. ‘Vuli Ndlela’ is undoubtedly one of Brenda Fassie’s best bodies of work, holding the title of ‘Song of the Decade’ and a song we heard playing at every South African wedding and home then and now. It embodies the township sound of the late 90s, a true anthem as it celebrates a mother’s joy as her son gets married.
IzangoMa “Out Of The World”
Stream/Download/Buy here: https://izangoma.lnk.to/NgoMaIN
‘Out Of The World’ encapsulates IzangoMa’s message of gratitude to creation & motherhood, in a two-step and pantsula gravy train. Its elastic rhythm carries keyboards, the double & triple time ‘handclaps’ of the Roland TR-8, and all manner of percussive overload to ’the beautiful being’ that singer Sibusile Xaba shouts out at the track’s opening, in a style paying homage to the MCs of early hip hop. Mother on earth, mother in all. Songs for mothers worldwide, this is the message and the theme. Conception beyond; no deception in this pond. Ponder the quest, ride along, ignore the bumps and trample upon hindrances. Be free.
Nobuhle Ashanti “Bait For Steps Forward”
Stream/Download/Buy here: https://platoon.lnk.to/bait-for-steps-forward
Following the warm reception to her slowly-released 4 debut singles since last year, Nobuhle Ashanti is excited to release her full debut offering in the form of her 12-track album, ‘Bait For Steps Forward’. The songs in the album are written about her life’s experiences and lessons. It spans across genres ranging from jazz and classical to hip-hop and soul. “Bait for Steps Forward” was recorded and produced by Concept Records, and it features a wide variety of Cape Town’s most talented vocalists, instrumentalists and poets.
Aya Mpama “Ayanda Amandla Ami”
Stream/Download/Buy here: https://distrokid.com/hyperfollow/ayampama/ayanda-amandla-ami
Multi-talented Aya Mpama made her comeback to the music industry with her latest five-song EP titled ‘Ayanda Amandla Ami’. The EP promises nothing less than Aya’s signature soulful sounds. With just over ten years since her last single release, this EP is true to who Aya is as a woman in the entertainment industry.
Stream/Download/Buy here: https://bfan.link/23-02-99
The word Isimilo in English means respect or morals and essentially this is a sexy, feel-good song about losing your morals for a special person and finding and embracing your sexiness. Isimilo was produced by multi-platinum producer duo PLXYGRND is the 3rd and final single from Vuyina’s debut album 23.02.99 set to be released on the 14th of April. Still riding high from being featured on “Hate Luv” by South African icon K.O, Vuyina’s steady rise in popularity and the amazing reception of her previous single Sabela, it is very clear that she is set to be one of the most thrilling and promising artists of 2023.
Stream/Download/Buy here: https://orcd.co/dukamake
Kuiyu, a Kenyan artist and rising star in the East African music scene has dropped his single, “DÚKAMAKE“. The track is a heartfelt tribute to Kuiyu’s late mother, sung in Kikuyu, his native tongue. With “DÚKAMAKE”, Kuiyu is introducing a fresh take on Afro house, blending soul-stirring incantations that float spirits skyward while the steady and reassuring Afro house backdrop is there to ground through a familiar rhythm and modern electronic sound. Nach Mao, a Congolese producer and DJ based in Uganda, provides the atmospheric and emotive backdrop for Kuiyu’s poignant vocals.
Inkabi Zezwe “Umbayimbayi”
Stream/Download/Buy here: https://warnermusicafrica.lnk.to/Umbayimbayi
As a duo, Sjava and Big Zulu make up Inkabi Zezwe, a project that celebrates the connection they have as Zulu brothers and musicians. This collaboration places them at the precipice of an interesting moment in music and culture. Their music as individual artists travel back and forth through traditional isiZulu musical forms and more contemporary musical expressions. Sjava is R&B and Afropop / Hip-Hop inclined whereas Big Zulu uses Hip-Hop / Rap to negotiate his musical identity. This ambivalence of genres is a prime opportunity to imagine and create music that is not only an autobiographical anecdote of their intimate worlds but as artists who are attentive to contemporary South Africa. Their new music explores everything that matters to them, love, intimacy, joy, aspiration, and people. Inkabi Zezwe is about community and the beauty of shared experiences.
FakeAno “African Boy 3”
Stream/Download/Buy here: https://fakeano.fanlink.to/africanboy3
The latest Blank Spaces Records project African Boy 3 has 7 certified ‘bangers’ and features more great musicians such as Sauwcy, 2woshort and Henwood. The project also pays tribute to the late musical giant Oliver Mtukudzi on the single “Mwari Anewe” which comes as a tribute to the original version “Neria.” African Boy 3 is a beautifully arranged project that is delivered in shona and english, a depiction of where FakeAno places himself in the African diaspora. The melodies and instrumentals are inspired by other African acts such as Burna Boy and Wizkid, which brings in the much loved Southern African Afrobeat sound that FakeAno refers to as Southy Beats.
Cimo Fränkel “Magical”
Stream/Download/Buy here: https://music.apple.com/us/album/magical/1673859723?i=1673860011
Cimo Fränkel has waved his pen and conjured a soulful number, a single titled ‘Magical’. Crisp snares offset a steady kick, while a strong Funk bass establishes the groove. With a touch of ‘80s flair, Cimo reminisces about love lost in a song that draws its flavour from his musical roots, but with a contemporary pop twist comparable to The Weeknd.
Spumante “Instrumante Serie 3”
Stream/Download/Buy here: https://spumante.bandcamp.com/album/instrumante-serie-3
Stream/Download/Buy here: https://cca.ffm.to/stamina
Talented independent recording artist, Rhyma, released his debut album accompanied by his latest single “Jabula” featuring the talented afro-soul singer/songwriter Nokwazi. Rhyma has established himself as one of his generation’s true positive leaders and motivational musicians. The soft bass and guitar complement the mood of this masterpiece. The album features unquestionably talented artists and producers such as Nkosazana, Mutual Beats, Jusen Apex, DJ Prie Nkosazana, Sarah Modiba, Chukason Don, Leon Lee, Zulu Aura and Nokwazi. To all the listeners, the moment you get a copy of this project, simply open your mind and allow the music to take control. You won’t be disappointed.
Vinnie Mak “Shades Of Man”
Stream/Download/Buy here: https://platoon.lnk.to/shades-of-man
Vinnie Mak aims straight for the heart’s proverbial jugular with the release of his EP, Shades Of Man. Having appetised his audience with two singles, Naninina & Crucifix, Vinnie is ready to serve the buffet which is the offering in its full platter. Colours Of Man is a love letter from the first song right to the outro but not in typical Vinnie Mak style. Well, is Vinnie ever typical? He unearthed his versatility in this offering by collaborating with Kenza to fuse his heart-wrenching soul with an afro-tech-inspired sound. The songs are coded with love songs and heartbreak. “My intention always is to open the listener up. We are human because we feel, so let’s dig into them openly”, says Mak. Shades Of Man really means Shades of Mak, in this case. Vinnie Mak was one of the first artists to sign with ALTBLK>> a home for unique African independent artists, founded by Msaki – of whom he recently supported at the Lyric Theatre, he has shared stages with Samthing Soweto, Urban Village, BCUC, Gontse Makhene, Zu, Umle. He produces and curates his own shows entitled “colours in the dark” where the audience gets to know the true Vinnie Mak, a chameleon of emotions embracing the abstract.
This is a list and a half! Let us know which releases are your favourites!