Sunday, 11 August 2013

A trio of recent gems from South Africa!

It's fair to say that South Africa isn't exactly the biggest exporter of global smash hit singles. In 2010 a few South African acts entered or came close to charting in the UK. Zany rap collective Die Antwoord's Enter The Ninja peaked at No.37 whilst Afro-fusion act Freshlyground featured on Shakira's epic official World Cup single Waka Waka (This Time For Africa). Twin brothers Locnville had some UK airplay with Sun In My Pocket but the single failed to chart. It's a great shame that success is so limited to these acts because South Africa actually has a great untapped music scene and you feel that quite a few of their domestic smash hits could easily go global. So I'm going to look at three of my current favourites from South Africa but also be sure to check out a couple of classics, Wind It by Jody, the Rihanna smash that never was, and Secrets by Jamali, a gorgeous melodic girlband single reminiscent of something by Cleopatra or The Honeyz. And now look at these;

DJ Kent feat The Arrows - Spin My World

Kento Sasaki aka DJ Kent's latest album The Weekent has just been released and the single Spin My World is the absolute highlight. A stunning house track with spades of garage influence, a pulsing bassline, a gorgeous piano melody and beautiful vocals from female duo The Arrows, this instantly likeable single could easily become a smash hit in the UK if given some attention.

Nádine - I Will Be Strong

Originally released as a soaring Celine Dion-esque ballad as part of Nádine's This Time I Know album in 2009, the production has been drastically overhauled and I Will Be Strong is now a schlager triumph, sounding like the love child of Sanna Nielsen and Agnes. An absolutely fantastic track in either version, Nádine's belting vocal really sells the emotion of the track and the melody is as strong as they come. Also worth looking out for from Nádine are her recent albums Eindeloos, which features this track, and her seasonal collection Christmas In South Africa which features unique covers of festive classics in a South African style alongside the brilliant pop anthem Light In The Sky.

BlackByrd feat Craig Hinds - From The Bottom Of My Heart

And showing a completely different side to the South African music industry, female trio BlackByrd have teamed up with singer Craig Hinds to make this instantly familiar and classic sounding country duet From The Bottom Of My Heart. Pretty much the strongest single that Lady Antebellum haven't yet made, this one sounds like it could be rather huge in the US.


  1. You have once again unearthed some amazing hits here Richard! Its a shame they are not sourced more by British DJs and played over here. I love Nadine's track 'I Will Be Strong'and can imagine it as a soaring ballad too.
    More like this please!!! :)

  2. I agree James, maybe I should regularly do features on specific countries that are overlooked! Here is a live version of the ballad version of I Will Be Strong:

    I have a studio version with strings and full production too, I'll have to let you listen at some point as it's not on Youtube!