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Amapiano undoubtedly continues to be one of Africa’s most prolific genres. Rooted in the Kwaito era the genre is seeing exciting cross-regional and diaspora experiments and collaborations, which have sprung up from Lagos, Accra, Johannesburg, London and New York signalling this genre is far from over. Rather it seems to be on the cusp of even more diverse and exciting global expressions in the future.

The rise of the genre is evident, with Amapiano hit makers Kabza De Small and DJ Maphorisa taking the top spots as the Most Streamed Artists in South Africa on Spotify in 2019. Amapiano was also the most streamed local genre on Spotify in South Africa, with a phenomenal 145% increase in global streams in the first half of 2020 to the previous year.

To explore the DNA of the Yanos sound, its impact locally and its international ascent, Spotify recently hosted an Amapiano virtual panel featuring key industry players including pioneers of the genre, artists, deejays and producers. Moderated by music journalist Helen Herimbi, Amapiano Keys featured Sha Sha, Focalistic, Don Laka, Semi Tee, Mfr Souls, Njelic as well as music and culture journalist Setumo-Thebe Mohlomi.

 

Where it all started

Legendary musician, composer and co-founder of Kalawa Jazme, Don Laka, kicked off the session by emphasizing that Amapiano is not a departure from Kwaito, but rather forms another branch of it. While Kwaito was born to ring in a new culture for the youth of the (then) new democracy,  Amapiano has done the same for its generation, giving today’s youth a voice and a sense of belonging that subsequently formed into one of the biggest music communities in South Africa.

 

Amapiano started to dominate the streets from as early as 2016 and has been claimed by several different players in the industry from various townships across South Africa.  While it’s challenging to pinpoint exactly when the sound began to dominate local dance floors, according to Setumo the pivotal moment came when Amapiano received radio airtime.  Nowadays with audio streaming platforms like Spotify amplifying the genre from the township streets where it began to a global audience, the reach is endless.

 

The Rise of the genre

Setumo-Thebe Mohlomi, who has been at the forefront of documenting the genre by immersing himself in its culture, supports the belief that Amapiano is not just a genre but a movement.  A common misconception is that Amapiano took off overnight, however East Rand based musical duo Mfr Souls are testament to the hard work that happened behind the scenes to launch and position the genre to where it is today and the ongoing work to grow it even further. Reminiscing on how they got started back in 2013 demonstrates in part the evolution of the genre – from layering Kwaito tracks with an instrumental sound including piano solos to now featuring more vocals.

 

 

 

Enhanced storytelling with an introduction of vocals 

According to ‘Ke Star’ hit maker Focalistic the introduction of vocals extended the narrative journey for listeners around what he was experiencing when the track was made.   Semi Tee agrees that lyrics are a way to showcase the culture through storytelling. Referring to his popular yet controversial track Labantwana AmaUber’, he explained how the lyrics were meant to tell a story that there is more to life for township youth.  Setumo summed up the idea perfectly by adding that  Amapiano represents real-life elements that form part of the youth’s lives – the socio-economic climate of the country and high unemployment rate that has caused the youth to look for an escape and outlet from their day-to-day existence and ‘’Amapiano is it.”

 

From South Africa to the World

The growth of audio streaming has also been pivotal to the expansion of the genre. Phiona Okumu, Spotify’s Artist and Label Partnerships Manager, examined how through the power of data, Spotify was able to identify a demand for the tracks that were already popular on the streets but were not yet available for streaming. In response Spotify curated its flagship Amapiano playlist titled ‘AmaPiano Grooves’ – providing a space for artists and producers to connect and drive the genre on a global platform. AmaPiano Grooves was not only the most streamed playlist in South Africa by June 2020, but it transcended borders and was also popular with audiences in the UK and the US amongst others, with Njelic’s hit ‘Shesha’ featuring on the tracklist for the British comedy-drama series, I May Destroy You.

 

British-Ghanian producer Juls, who was first introduced to Amapiano when he heard ‘Love You Tonight’ by Mfr Souls, believes that the reason Amapiano has been able to garner international attention is because of the familiarity of the sound – the drums, percussion and house music to which music lovers gravitate towards.  ‘’The sounds of house music from across the world can be traced back to Africa this can also be a reason why sound has crossed over and been adopted so freely.’’

 

Creating a global movement

There was a time when South African and African music in general was enjoyed almost in isolation. Now with access to a global stage, the influences of Afrobeats and genres such as Amapiano are taking Africa to the world while also creating a space for African artists to influence and be influenced by one another.

 

As the Amapiano genre continues to reach different parts of the world it will need to be supported, as more of a Glocal movement with different collaborations and influences continuing to shape and broaden the genre. Phiona concluded by sharing Spotify’s vision for continued support of African artists and helping to grow Africa-centric sounds to its global audience of over 299 million active users.

 

“We believe in being a true partner to artists. We support artists, amplify their story and connect them to their fans across the globe. This is just the beginning, when we launched Amapiano Grooves last year, we visited the artists and producers who were immersed in the culture to showcase how Spotify could support them. We believe in staying close to the community and maintaining our drive to educate them on how the platform can help them connect and broaden their audience base, driving discovery and collaboration down the line.’’

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Ayoba (https://ayoba.me/) and MusicTime® (https://www.MusicTime.co.za/) are proud to announce their partnership to bring free music listening to ayoba users, with the launch of a new feature in the ayoba app titled MusicTime in ayoba.

 

MusicTime® in ayoba [or MTiA] is now live in South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, Rwanda, Uganda, Congo Brazzaville, Guinee, Guinee Bissau, Sudan, and Afghanistan.

 

 

Each territory offers users free access to 10 playlists with 20 songs in each. In addition, the app has a new mini player that allows you to listen to music while you chat to your contacts with no interruption. Playlists are curated specifically for each territory, and always include music from the region as well. Users can subscribe [free] to the channel as per all ayoba channels, and numbers are rising quickly as users discover the new feature.

 

 

An important feature of MTiA is the ability to listen to music with no data costs. Ayoba is zero rated for data in most of its markets via its partnership with MTN allowing MTN users to listen to a limited amount of music with no data costs.

The MusicTime® channels also include editorial content, music video clips and artist polls. A major feature will be channels in partnership with artists, such as the newly launched Sark Nation channel, featuring top Ghanaian rapper, Sarkodie; currently available across Africa. Many more artist partnerships will be launched in the coming weeks.

 

 

Ayoba has evolved significantly since its launch in 2019 as an instant messaging app. Users can now enjoy content in more than 50 channels covering topics from Coronavirus news to education to cooking tips, football, Formula 1, music news and more. In 2020, ayoba has also added gaming, and offer users free access to top mobile games. In some markets (Cameroon, Ghana and Uganda) the integration with MTN Mobile Money (MoMo) allows users to send and receive money on ayoba.

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Six months after the kick-off of RADAR, Spotify’s emerging artists program, and 2 billion+ streams later, Spotify is launching a global RADAR hub on-platform in order to celebrate a successful half-year of supporting up-and-coming artists from around the world.

The centralised destination will be home to the extensive artist line-up from the RADAR program, their newest releases, 22 region-and-genre-specific RADAR global playlists (these playlists include artists Spotify editors are excited about including and beyond those in the RADAR program) and original exclusive content.

 

Since the March launch of this pinnacle emerging artist program, there have been over 22 global sister programs, including the local RADAR Africa, and 115 RADAR-affiliated emerging artists around the world – from South Africa to Brazil, Germany to New Zealand and more.

 

When RADAR kicked off in March singer and songwriter Elaine was announced as the first South African RADAR artist with rapper Willy Cardiac being the second artist to join the program, locally.

 

Says Ned Monahan, Spotify’s Head of Global Hits, “The launch of the Global RADAR Hub is the perfect illustration of how our editorial teams collaborate to build up-and-coming artists from all over the world.  We hope this will be an easy new way for fans to discover artists from outside of their home countries and for artists to begin to develop a global fan base.

 

Six-Months of RADAR around the World & By the Numbers:

  • 115 artists who have collectively generated:
    • 2 billion+ streams
    • 100 million+ hours of listening
    • 112 million+ listeners across 92 countries; and
    • 8 million+ followers (a 64% increase compared to pre-RADAR)

 

See below what RADAR Africa’s first two chosen artists had to say on their experiences with the program.

 

Elaine

“I am forever grateful to Spotify for allowing my music to be accessible to my supporters around the world. I am beyond excited about being part of RADAR, and I cannot wait to share new music with everyone that’s been a part of this journey with me.”

 

Willy Cardiac

“I am thrilled to be chosen by Spotify to be a part of their RADAR program. All the hard work I have put into my music continues to be recognised and having Spotify support me on my journey will make my music accessible to millions of users around the world, from South Africa all the way to America. There’s no limit to where your music can go.”

 

Spotify’s For The Record blog includes an animated RADAR graphic  and a sizzle video spotlighting artists from around the world that have seen exponential success through their Spotify partnership — including  Alaina Castillo (US),J.I The Prince of N.Y (US), Young T and Bugsey (UK and made a recent cameo on Barack Obama’s summer playlist) and merci, mercy (AU) – can be viewed and embedded HERE and the Hub can be found HERE.

 

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The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) is pleased to announce that the second edition of #TheCookoutAfrica Songwriting series with multi-Grammy Award nominated composer and producer Vincent Le Carl Berry II is heading to Southern Africa.  The second edition which will hold on Thursday, August 27th2020 at 18:00 CAT , will be an interactive Songwriting Masterclass specially designed for the music industry of Southern Africa* and all professional and aspiring songwriters are invited to register now.

 

The highly anticipated series was launched on July 30th 2020  to East African songwriters as part of the build-up to the Intra African Trade Fair (IATF 2021).

While #TheCookoutAfrica will be conducted primarily in English, we are encouraging the participation of Portuguese speaking songwriters from the region.

Promoted by Afreximbank, #TheCookoutAfrica is a live collaborative song-writing experience, designed to engage participants and encourage creative writing, group function, reflection, peer learning, peer interaction and practice that culminates in a finished song.

#TheCookoutAfrica is a resource that empowers African songwriters to highlight their community’s creativity, as well as promotes team building and collaboration. This IATF2021 series of events is just one of many aimed at enabling Africa’s creative industries to continue to produce fresh, conscious, and culturally relevant content in a sustainable and cutting-edge manner.

Hosted by Vincent Berry II, #TheCookoutAfrica, brings the magic of collaborative song writing to life, as recently experienced first-hand by a range of top East African songwriters.  This series will continue over the next few months, reaching across Africa in a celebration of the varied musical sounds and styles of the continent…

 

 

Vincent Berry II is most celebrated for being the Lead Writer of ‘Sandcastles’, on Beyonce’s highly acclaimed project “Lemonade”. “Lemonade” instantly became a pop culture phenomenon. The album and film provoked an intense worldwide discussion about race, feminism, social media and the music industry. Berry has the distinct honour of being part of this 59th Annual Grammy Award-winning Project! Continuing the path of success, Berry has been a part of six Grammy-Nomination projects in the past eight years, most recently participating with J. Cole & Dreamville on the “Revenge of the Dreamer III”, a 62nd Annual Grammy Award Nominee for the Best Rap Album of the Year. Berry has also written for Akon, Ari Lennox, Babyface, Brandy, Chris Brown, Estelle, Mary J. Blige, Migos, Sean Paul, Shaggy, Ty Dolla Sign and Usher, to name a few.

 

 

While the 2021 edition of the Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF) will be taking place next year, the dynamic programme for Africa’s creatives has commenced.   Africa’s creative industries will be a major focus at the event and #TheCookoutAfrica, along with other upcoming digital events aims to create an avenue to engage, educate and encourage creatives globally to collaborate as a part of the on-going build up to IATF 2021.

To take part in this free song-writing Masterclass,  Southern African songwriters  must register here:

https://intrafricantradefair.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_2aBBCd6eR5uRtx6_iePa1g

and fill out the application to reserve your spot. Space is limited, so sign-up now!

 

*Songwriters from the following countries are eligible to apply: Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

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Simphiwe Dana drops a new music video

Posted by radio On July - 10 - 2020 ADD COMMENTS

Award-winning singer Simphiwe Dana has released her first music video – Masibambaneni off her new album Bamako.

The songstress has re-imagined and re-worked Salif Keita’s Africa featuring the Grammy award-winning legend himself. Recorded in Bamako, Mali, the video shot by Dale Fortune tells a beautiful story on black beauty and how powerful we are united.

The video sees beautiful scenes of carefree children running wild in the open fields, on the streets with glee. It shows Simphiwe making the music with Salif Keita and his band at a studio while some showcase the beautiful songstress spotting big hair singing through the mic.

 

Simphiwe has consistently been making thought-provoking, social change-driven, love and loss-defining music since getting her big break with the release of her debut album Zandisile in 2004.  A Universal Music signee, Simphiwe is thrilled to finally share the visuals of her latest with someone she considers her icon.

 

Watch Masibambane here:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GCTSIhjo41U

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Mi Casa is one of South Africa’s most exciting and consistent success stories. With a sonic uniqueness that has not only stood the test of time, but shaped South African dance floors for the past decade, the band has gone from strength to strength with their Afro-Pop/House grooves and shown the world that nothing can keep positivity and a good formula down.

Now, ten years, countless awards and 5 albums later, the group has signed an international record deal with Afroforce1 Records and Universal Music Group, making them a priority act for their region. The brand new album
We Made It is a testament to a decade of raw pushing that saw this self-made success story emerge once again on top.

 

April 2020 saw a strong kick out the gate with the first single, ‘Church Bells’. Released alongside a powerful video of a space-inspired traditional African wedding, the single immediately topped SA’s most played charts and firmly
reminded audiences Mi Casa are leaders in their arena. They have returned to South African airwaves with more
determination, growth and relevance than ever before – and fired up about dropping their 5th album at home,
in the African continent and in Europe this July.

 

Aptly titled, We Made It makes J’Something beam with happiness and speak about it as if it’s his newborn child. “We are completely re-energised with this record. It feels like we have emerged on another planet compared to where we were before we started the recording process”, he states. The band, with close musical companions such as producers Jay Em, spent 3 months writing from a house in Mpumalanga with no distractions, pushing through a tough time when the band was probably at its weakest in terms of spirit. Amidst the rumours of break-up and song-writing apathy they emerged with an offering that leans more towards a ‘band act’ than the ‘club act’ they felt they may have been before.

 

Lyrically, J’ Something takes the helm as always. With love still remaining a strong lyrical undercurrent, there’s no doubt that this time the sex appeal is definitely riding high too. The album is probably one of the smoothest Mi Casa offerings to date. Tracks such as ‘Mamela’ speak to the tender side of all of us as J aches for quiet time with his partner.

Vocally, it gives a definite nod to 90’s R&B, whilst smatterings of musical beach vibes bring the listener closer to that holiday. ‘Obsessed’ takes it right to the top with fire lyrics cradled in a sexy Latin-House beat.
‘How Could You’ is a gut-punch that speaks almost tangibly to anyone who’s ever been played in a relationship while party tracks like ‘Chucks’ and ‘Love Everything about You’ remind fans why this band is still on top of their game.

 

A stand-out track is without a doubt, ‘Eve’ – a deeper, socio-political look at the dark place we find ourselves in as mankind. With a definite African angle to the lyrics, the sadness of the track is visceral and although perhaps not destined for dance floor dominance without a remix, the sheer vocal mastery by J’Something, Mo’s melancholy pull of the trumpet and the slowed-down beat take the listener on a journey of awareness.

 

In short, it’s pure re. Another stand-out track is ‘Home Alone’, featuring AKA. The song speaks to long distance relationships, longing, isolation and all the hard times people experience when being alone, much like what so many people have been experienced worldwide right now with the Covid 19 pandemic.

 

The 3rd July sees the official release of the album, as well as the second single, ‘Eve’. The band plans to support it with an exciting 9-province virtual tour and a host of other awesome digital content, until such time as they can perform live.

 

As a complete record one could be forgiven for feeling like they’re witnessing the blossoming evolution of their favourite OG’s. Emerging the other side as a more mature, slick and sexy force of nature. Mi Casa has literally, never sounded so good.

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Today Spotify is excited to announce that South African rapper Willy Cardiac is the second artist to join RADAR – Spotify’s global emerging artists program featuring artists from over 50 markets worldwide. RADAR is Spotify’s commitment to emerging artists across all stages of their career development.

Willy Cardiac’s new single “Fan of Me” is available for streaming on Spotify

This announcement comes with the release of his latest single “Fan of Me” that is now available for streaming on Spotify. ‘Fan of Me’ serves a high energy iteration of Trap&B, with equal parts thump and rhythm, the track marries both worlds perfectly. Flexing on production by KindlyNxsh, the irresistible melodic trap that Willy Cardiac delivers features a suave verse by Los Angeles crooner Eric Bellinger. Bellinger is renowned for working with artists including Justin Bieber, Usher and Chris Brown. ‘Fan of Me’ is bound to gain Willy Cardiac even more fans.

 

Back in 2017 Willy Cardiac dropped his debut track “Sippy Dippy”, which saw him go viral and earn a league of fans dubbed the Willy Gang and it is this growing fan base that fuels Willy Cardiac’s performances. The 19-year-old rising star, who has been described as ‘authentic’ and ‘forward thinking’, has a raw energy that captured the eye of popular rapper Ricky Rick and earned him an invitation to perform at the inaugural Cotton Fest.

After years of online success, Willy Cardiac has finally broken into the mainstream and bagged himself a spot on MTVs ‘Hottest MC List 2020 New Wave.’ Now, his inclusion in Spotify’s RADAR program will further accelerate his career by helping him deepen his connection to his existing audience as well as extend his reach globally.

 

Phiona Okumu, Spotify’s Artist and Label Partnerships Manager for South Africa, said: “Now more than ever, emerging artists need as much platform support as possible to showcase their music to local and international audiences. Spotify has always been committed to artist development, and to connecting fans with the music they will love. We believe that RADAR will help set up Willy Cardiac for long term success with a worldwide Hip-hop listenership.”

 

Together with the RADAR program, Spotify also recently introduced the On Our RADAR: Africa playlist, which will highlight music from new African artists and their latest releases. The playlist will also serve as a content hub for all the must-know tracks and hot new artists across a full spectrum of genres from the continent and the African diaspora. The playlist will continue to solidify Spotify as the ultimate destination for artist discovery and a powerful partner for rising artists.

 

Under the RADAR program, Willy Cardiac will be supported across different verticals. From first-hand editorial and on-platform support, to bespoke Spotify social media content to broaden his fan base and more.

 

“I am thrilled to be chosen by Spotify to be a part of their RADAR program,” says Willy Cardiac. All the hard work I have put into my music continues to be recognised and having Spotify support me on my journey will make my music accessible to millions of users around the world, from South Africa all the way to America. There’s no limit to where your music can go.”

 

Willy Cardiac joins Spotify’s emerging artist program, following the footsteps of international superstars such as Lil Baby,  Rex Orange County, and Lauv who not so long ago were just starting out. Each one was assisted in this journey by Spotify’s dedication to bringing up-and-coming artists to music fans’ radar.

 

Earlier in March, Spotify announced Elaine as their first South African RADAR artist and continue to support Elaine’s music to date with forthcoming fan-driven events and editorial support from all around the world.

 

This weekend Willy Cardiac will kick off an IG Live series where he will be joined by some of his popular industry friends to trade ‘fan encounter’ stories. The IG Live series will start on Monday 1 June from 8pm (SAST) and run as per below –

 

Download the Spotify app via the Android or iOS app store or by heading to www.spotify.com – to embed Spotify into a website – right click on any playlist, go to ‘share’ and copy embed code.

 

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It’s almost time for Fire Starters from across the world to gather around the fire once again for the MTN Bushfire #KeepTheFireBurning Digital Festival!

Inspired by the festival’s #BRINGYOURFIRE call to action for positive change, the #KeepTheFireBurning digital festival is part of MTN Bushfire’s COVID-19 response to support our beneficiaries, Young Heroes and boMake Rural Projects.

 

Instead of gathering in person our traditional festival weekend, on Saturday May 30th, MTN Bushfire fans can still enjoy a wide and diverse array of music and related programming via an immersive two-way virtual experience.

 

Immerse yourself in our renowned authentically African and globally-infused programme as we recreate the unique atmosphere of the MTN Bushfire festival including some of your favourite artists performing from home, along with highlights from previous festivals, and other MTN Bushfire festival experiences including the KidZone, Bring Your Fire Zone, House on Fire and Firefly stages.

 

With Howler’s innovative technology, we’ll be sharing the festival’s multi-dimensional experiences through exciting themed Zoom Rooms, all for a worthy cause.

 

Register now for free access to the online festival here: https://mtnbushfire.howler.co.za/keepthefireburning

 

ARTIST APPEARANCES

In keeping with the kind of globally diverse and stylistically eclectic range of music that is synonymous with MTN Bushfire, a range of artists from across Africa and the globe will be bringing their fire to this exciting digital festival.  Stay tuned throughout the week as more artists will be added to the various stages.

 

Some of the initial confirmed artists for the MTN Bushfire #KeepTheFIreBurning Digital Festival include:

 

Oki Dub Ainu Band (Japan) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7KmYF2RmCzc

This act that nearly burned down the House on Fire stage when they performed. All the way from Japan, The Oki Ainu Dub Band plays mostly traditional Ainu songs in an electric style which mixes dub rhythms with tonkori playing.

 

Ain the Machine (Germany) https://www.ainthemachine.com/video/musica-biotronica-live/

Ain the Machine, hailing from Brazil and Germany is an AudioVisual storyteller with a clear goal, Ain aims to transform the way we interact with music. It is music without instruments. A concept he calls, Musica Biotronica. Musica Biotronica takes sounds from the body, voice & everyday objects, and with the help of technology, transforms them into music.

 

Bholoja (Eswatini) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k0eDrPdFyDg

Eswatini’s own Bholoja has wowed MTN Bushfire audiences many times over with his multi-colored, intrepid voice and a talent for writing songs that reflect on the daily life and unique culture of the people of his homeland.

 

Habib Koite (Mali) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZnFae6JSYlE 

Habib Koite is a Malian musician, singer, songwriter and griot and member of the West African supergroup Bambara. He is an internationally recognised artist and considered a treasure of African music.

 

Dizraeli(UK) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMdJ4-5aN90

Hailing from the UK, Dizraeli is Dizraeli is a rapper, multi-instrumentalist and sometime singer taking hiphop to new terrains.

 

Mokoomba (Zimbabwe) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHLxtppcrR0

One of the most exciting bands to come out of Africa in recent times, Zimbabwe’s Mokoomba play infectious and irresistible dance music.

 

Alune Wade  (Senegal)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yqk9iW10wIM  –

Senegal’s Alune Wade brings a deep-rooted soulfulness to the African jazz scene.  He has collaborated with the likes of Marcus Miller, Salif Keita, Oumou Sangare, Bela Fleck and Bobby McFerrin.

 

Sands (Eswatini) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GVMx2Kgdcn4

Eswatini’s own Sands needs no introduction to regulars of the MTN Bushfire Festival. This home-grown talent is one of the country’s most loved exports. Having won multiple awards, he is a multi-talented singer, songwriter, and guitarist. We are very happy to once again showcase this amazing talent for the global audience he deserves.

 

Donovan Copley (South Africa)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CkVITcupQKs

Donovan Copley, perhaps best known as the frontman of Cape Town Afro-pop band Hot Water, has been busy during this lockdown period. He recently released a single, Home, to raise funds for the Covid-19 Feed a Child Coalition.

 

Mehdi Qamoum (Morocco) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxf8GlwyZ3Q

Mehdi Qamoum is a versatile composer and multi-instrumentalist based in Agadir. A traditional gnawa musician, Mehdi has mastered numerous folk instruments including guembri, outar, karbaou, bendir and a custom guembri four-string electric bass which he built himself. Aside from his own compositions, Mehdi is well known for his work as a sideman and band leader, and has performed in the the house band for the Morocco Pavilion at Epcot Center. In addition to his formidable instrumental talents, Mehdi is also an adept songwriter and his original songs often confront pressing social issues like poverty, diaspora and discrimination.

 

Mario Batkovic (Bosnia) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lDJ6tBkvbh4

Mario is a composer who is also well known as a solo accordion player. BATKOVIC’S mission is to explore the sonic possibilities of the accordion, without effects or loops, rather through a mutualist symbiotic relationship between man and instrument. challenging, hypnotic, and grandiose; Batkovic’s single-handed symphonic vision is certainly unique.

 

Albert Frost (South Africa) https://www.facebook.com/neil.frye.71/videos/10156038888532152/

Dubbed the “Jimi Hendrix” of South Africa, Albert Frost has been wowing audiences with his blues guitar talent since he was a child. He has toured around the world and won multiple awards. He has toured with the likes of REM and Simple Minds.

 

Staceyann Chin (Jamaica /USA) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHrYfdK2pW4

Strongly rooted in the activist spoken word tradition, Staceyann Chin s a spoken-word poet, performing artist and LGBT rights political activist whose work has been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post. However, it’s her live performances that express her real power- her fire – that she brought in 2017 to MTN Bushfire where her powerful words moved so many people.

 

Red Robyn (South Africa) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xnxJqJX0vSQ

Red Robyn excites the alternative music scene as a multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter and actress – currently based in Cape Town , South Africa where she is also part of Indie Pop band ‘The World Of Birds’.

 

Velemseni (Eswatini) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GVMx2Kgdcn4

Coming back home – Eswatini’s own Velemseni is a rising talent whose music reflects an aesthetic of jazz, rock, and neo soul. A singer, songwriter and guitarist she is an artist to keep an eye on as she heads for international success.

 

Register now for FREE by visiting https://mtnbushfire.howler.co.za/keepthefireburning. If you wish to donate, you can do so when you register or during the digital event.

 

Stay tuned to our website www.bush-fire.com and follow us on our social media pages @MTNBushfire for more updates on this unique experience.

 

WHO AM I DONATING TO?

 

The postponement of the 14th Edition of the MTN Bushfire festival has greatly affected our beneficiaries’ ability to keep their doors open and continue serving the Eswatini communities at a time when it is needed the most.

 

With the daily increase in COVID-19 cases in the Kingdom of Eswatini, the threat on our health and livelihoods puts those with already compromised immune systems and inadequate access to potable running water and sanitation facilities at an even higher risk.

 

About 90 per cent of the families supported by Young Heroes are cared for by elderly women who have no source of income. Their needs have been further stretched by the closing of schools, where feeding schemes give the children a meal or two each day.

 

BoMake empowers nearly 800 rural woman artisans, subsequently benefiting their families and their communities. The pandemic has caused a collapse in their traditional sources of income and has put their families at risk.

 

Our donation target is firstly to support MTN Bushfire’s neighbours in the Lobamba Lomdzala Constituency, where the festival is held. Both BoMake and Young Heroes operate nation-wide, so any further support will be used to extend their impact across the country. Last year, we raised R330,000 for our beneficiaries and we hope that this event will ensure that in 2020, with your support, we are able to continue to support these organisations when they need it most.

 

Check out the amazing work that these organisations are doing: www.bomake.org and www.youngheroes.org.sz

                                                                              

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Another week in lockdown, the music is the saving grace, the gift that keeps on giving and here in our Urban Division we have exciting news for you!

DOWNLOAD/STREAM HERE https://NativeRhythms.lnk.to/Chosi

Singing sensation Buhlebendalo is releasing another track from her forthcoming album.

On Friday, you can stream/download Mdali along with  Ntab’ezimnyama and Iwotshi.

 

The celebrated Afrosoul singer and songwriter speaks to and of God in this melodic, vocally-layered song accompanied by a strong percussion. You have known her from The Soil, Buhlebendalo is carving her own musical journey on her terms with her upcoming album titled Chosi, a musical, spiritual feast. Over a looped bass guitar, “Mdali” functions as a prayer and oscillates between musical and spiritual realms amidst chants, claps and shakers with a transcendental quality. “Mdali” is a peek into Buhlebendalo’s depth and vocal range, with her ethereal voice matching her subject matter perfectly.

WHEN LOVE HURTS, TURN TO GOD!

 

 

There’s nothing as damaging as heartbreak…yes there’s a lesson in everything, but when it hurts, its bad! Megaa seems to know it very well, relatable content! His new single Ilambulo lothandoc speaks of disappointments in love, not being with the person you thought you would spend forever with. With all the heartache one feels, Megaa writes about turning to God for guidance and light. Love seems a little like politics, nothing is permanent!

AFROJAZZ AT ITS BEST! Khokho Madlala ISN’T HERE TO PLAY!

The Voice Season 3 contestant Khokho Madlala is a force to be reckoned with in the music scene. Her vocal prowess is something her peers revere and every producer’s dream. Her new single Ngilethe cements Khokho’s place in the scene as definitely the one to watch. Ngilethe follows previously well-received singles that display her soulful iteration of Afrojazz. This single has a mellow tempo that allows the singer’s harmonies to soar between a guitar-driven sound bed. The combination of gripping vocals and organic instrumentation make for an emotionally-charged listen, revealing Khokho’s ability to move her audience at will.

 

AIN’T NO MOUNTAIN HIGH ENOUGH FOR MINNIE!

 

DOWNLOAD/STREAM NOW :  https://lowkey.lnk.to/iNtaba

Signed to Prince Kaybee’s Low Key Records label and having been featured on Imbokodo taken from his Crossover EP in 2019, the South African singer Minnie Ntuli is taking up space and taking names.

 

The former Idols SA contestant has teamed up with Prince Kaybee on production and Sykes (on vocals) on a spell-binding track iNtaba, a dance pop jam that will warm these autumn nights. This catchy, upbeat and radio friendly tune is just what you need for these lockdown blues. Minnie is a TV & Radio personality whose music career is just taking off. Hailing from KwaMaphumulo, KwaZulu Natal, she is set to dismantle any mountain standing on her way to stardom and we are here for it!

 

INTERNATIONAL JAZZ DAY WITH OUR VERY OWN MANDE!

DOWNLOAD/STREAM NOW https://mande.lnk.to/Kwandza

 

We are celebrating International Jazz Day with our very own Jazz superstar, Mande! Her new single Kwandza is about gratitude to acts of kindness. She is an incredible vocalist and her single is nothing short of greatness. Mande has strong jazz and gospel influences and they come through in her music, which also a celebration of her Swati roots.

 

She has shared the stage with the likes of Ringo Madlingozi, Feya Faku, Ntokozo Mbambo and Benjamin Dube. This International Jazz day, you know what to listen to!

 

THIS WEEK ON DRAGON BALL- ZZZZ PIKACHU IS OUT!

 

DOWNLOAD/STREAM PIKACHU TODAY : https://AmaPiano.lnk.to/Pikachu

Soweto born DJ & Producer Kaygee Da King whom you know for his smash Amapiano hit Kokota is back with another banger titled Pikachu and we know it will do even better than the first.

He features frequent collaborator Bizizi, together they are a match in Amapiano heaven.

 

 

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Universal Music local urban is keeping You ON!

Posted by radio On April - 22 - 2020 ADD COMMENTS

It’s a busy week in these Urban streets, and another big week in music!

All our favourite artists are keeping us on toes with their beautiful music and we cannot wait for you to get your hands on it! This is what we have for you this week:

We love a Kenyan and South African music collaboration because it is guaranteed to make us feel good! Sauti Sol has proved this to be true once again with their beautiful and uplifting single Brighter Days featuring the Grammy award-winning Soweto Gospel Choir.

 

The single is taken off their forthcoming new album Midnight Train – a true celebration of life; its ups and downs. The pre-add allows fans to instantly get the tracks, “Brighter Days” as well as previous singles “Suzanna” and “Disco Matanga,” added to their libraries and playlists immediately. Additionally, this feature will automatically add the album to the consumers library immediately on release day, 5 June.

Watch Brighter Days video here : https://youtu.be/OQEByF4dtY0

 

Our favorite Jamaican-American superstar Masego has released his latest single Veg out – Wasting Thyme

off his upcoming album.

A regular in South Africa, Masego is a multi-talented artist whose jazz, house and trap-flavoured music is much sought-after.  He plays a number of instruments and he says women inspire him to learn more. Veg Out is his first single with Capitol Records and the video is out of this world. Born to two pastors, Masego says the church had a strong impact on his musicianship.  The best quarantine music, don’t say we don’t put you on!

 

FROM BUTTERWORTH TO MALI,

SIMPHIWE DANA RELEASES HER HIGHLY ANTICIPATED BABY, BAMAKO!

One of South Africa’s most revered and prolific artists of our time, Simphiwe Dana will release her fifth studio album Bamako Fri, 24 April 2020. She is a multi-award winning artist and has added Producer to her long list of accomplishments, having co-produced her latest offering with one of her heroes, Grammy award-winning Mali artist Salif Keita.

The album was recorded in Bamako, Mali. The layering of vocals, the music and overall writing of the music transports you from one world to another, hints of jazz, afro-soul and traditional influences come through.

 

HOW DO YOU LIKE YOUR COFFEE?

We like it BLACK! International DJ & Producer, Black Coffee isn’t done with his world domination, he has just released his latest hit single SBCNCSLY (not SBWL Xhosa people please…) with Sabrina Claudio, a celebrated voice in America and abroad. Black Coffee is a multi-award winning artist whose catalogue includes collaborations with the likes of Alicia Keys, David Guetta, Usher and Drake to name a few. He studied Jazz, an influence you can pick up in his compositions.

SBCNCSLY opens with a warm organ that is complimented by the vulnerability of Sabrina’s tone and songwriting. The song details a young woman who yearns for love but is apprehensive of letting her heart go. The vocals, coupled with the soft melodies and various rhythmic sounds gives a trance like feel to the song that is almost spiritual and soothing.

 

LEAVE TSHEGO WITH HIS BOYS!

 

Stay at home. Get together with your friends on the internets until another “Fellow South Africans…” comes through. Our beloved R&B Trap crooner Tshego, a law-abiding citizen has dropped a video for

“With My Bro’s”, showing love to his homies, he is grateful for their support.

This striking video is directed by Nate Thomas and it features appearances by Boity, Nasty C, Nadia Nakai, Gemini Major and Tellaman. The visuals include clips of Tshego ‘on the road’ with time-lapsed shots of travelling through the city and footage of the ‘Pink Panther’ rocking live shows.

WITH MY BRO’S THURS, 23rd APR 7PM!

 

 

AB CRAZY WORKS OVERTIME!

(cues Quarantine Radio hypeman “overtime, overtime, overtime…T-bo Touch horn”

 

Whoop! Kalawa Jazmee signee AB Crazy has dropped a stunning video to his smash hit Overtime! The Rands & Nairas rapper/singer is all about collecting his guap, now he’s putting in overtime.

His work ethic is impeccable and we have no doubt you will love this video!

 

TRESOR IS VERY THRILLED!

Who can argue that TRESOR writes and produces beautiful music! His latest love letter Thrill is about the excitement that comes with falling in love. All the warm and fuzzy emotions, rose-tinted glasses, replying to texts at 0,0001 seconds… yeah, he captures all that. TRESOR sonically captures the excitement of being in love and devoting yourself to love in this upbeat single Thrill. The melodious track with the signature Afro Pop sound from

 

TRESOR, is a sing along that captures the exhilaration, fire, and thrill of being in love.

Thrill sets the tone for new music from the award-winning singer.

TRESOR keeps the song cheerful with a combination of harmonies during the chorus, catchy lyrics and strings filled with rhythm.

 

WE WELCOME THE HOLY SPIRIT IN THESE UNCERTAIN TIMES!

Zuz’muzic signee Khana has released his album Moya Oyincwele and it is a beautiful balance of worship and praise songs, uplifting to the soul. His delivery is as powerful as is his songwriting.

 

ESSENTIAL TO YOUR DAILY LIFE!

Featuring East African Essentials Sauti Sol and Diamond Platnumz as well as Apple’s very own

Maskandi Essentials playlist.

This week, Apple announced their expansion into 52 markets, upping their presence in Africa and beyond!

New African markets include:

Algeria, Angola, Benin, Cameroon, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Tunisia, Zambia

 

WE’VE GOT YOU COVERED! 

@umgsa have some great features across their socials to keep you updated on all new music and playlists!

Don’t forget to follow us, today!

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