Between GQOM and Amapiano, Hip Hop and Afrikaans Pop – it’s clear that there’s something stirring when it comes to up-and-coming musical talent in South Africa.
Not ones to ever let grass grow under their feet, the flurry of recent artist signing over at Sony Music Entertainment Africa is evident of the fact that they’re heavily invested in their talent, and in the multiple genres currently changing and shaping SA’s diverse music landscape.
GQOM and Amapiano are two perfect examples of underground genres that have naturally flowed into mainstream veins as of late. Through the signing of dynamite GQOM duo Distruction Boyz alongside Distruction Boyz Records, and Amapiano pioneer DJ Sumbody alongside his Sumsounds label, SMEA have reinforced their commitment to what’s going on at a grassroots level by investing in joint venture partnerships with the artist and their partner label to develop new talent.
On the Hip Hop front, stylist-turned-urban-artist Stilo Magolide is aiming to reinvigorate the scene through his unique fusion of rap, dancehall beats and electronic stylings, all underpinned by his distinct, self-made fashion-forward brand.
Likewise, Yanga Chief is looking to take things to the next level. Known for his distinct flow and catchy hooks, not only was Yanga’s single “Utatakho” added to Spotify’s The Juice playlist, but the video for his hit was produced, directed and edited by the rapper himself. With a new EP en route in 2019 the future is bright for this thirty-year-odd creative.
Another rapper who’s been straight-up dominating the game locally for the last year is Rouge, and after destroying the stage opening for Post Malone, she had her sight firmly set on getting back in the studio to make a follow-up to her debut smash and releasing two new singles.
As SA’s growing Hip Hop scene continues to reach new heights, the new-school wave of rappers emerging are equally as impressive. Case in point, duo Malachi & Elizee who cut their teeth and built their reputation on Souncloud, racking up tens of thousands of streams in a matter of months. These trap rappers are hungry and ready to make their mark.
On the opposite end of the genre-spectrum, Sony Music Entertainnent Africa’s commitment to developing new talent on the Afrikaans scene is equally as impressive, with Select Musiek having signed some of the bright pop-rooted artists to emerge on the scene.
After a four-chair turn on Season 2 of The Voice SA, pop crooner John joined forces with rapper James. Now, as John James they challenge the status quo of Afrikaans music by giving a voice to the underdogs.
Similarly, Afrikaans EDM producer Synth Peter’s (real name Pieter Geyer) electro-rooted, “Seks Op Die Strand” feat. Klara, has become an instant beachside treffer to turn up to with its reverberating groove, and as the weather gets warmer, you can rest assured you’ll be hearing his signature blend of beats on the dance floor.
Select’s last singing is Kuilsriver MC, Cream Machine (real name Marvin Van Wyk). With a flow that’s been described as if “Notorious B.I.G and Pharomonch had a baby”, this self-proclaimed father of Kuilsriver Bboying busts out hard-hitting, clever rhymes that make him all too easy on the ear. By investing in a future with his long-standing Cape Town Hip Hop label, SMEA are laying solid foundations by breaking new ground.
With all these new artist additions, Sony Music Entertainment Africa’s family just became a full house with more than its fair share of cooking going on in the kitchen.
Keep those eyes peeled.