Music guide to life: when adulting feels overwhelming

This month, the 10and5 team has curated playlists to get you through life. From being broke and trying to adult, to dealing with heartache plus some, here’s your soundtrack to life’s rollercoaster moments. Listen to more of our music guides here.

My music taste is varied; I can go from listening to the soundtrack of the first Pirates of the Caribbean movies — yes, I just admitted that and can feel the heated gaze of music snobs — to LL Cool J to The Rolling Stones in a day.

Admittedly, I’m a melody person, meaning that melody hooks me before the lyrics, just ask anyone who’s heard me “rewrite” a song singing karaoke. Nevertheless, this is a playlist of songs I enjoy. They’re not all as deep as Radiohead’s Creep, or iconic as Nina Simone’s Backlash Blues or as heartfelt as Janis Joplin’s Get It While You Can, which are some of my favourites of all time. These are the kinds of songs that keep things light when I just don’t feel like being an adult.

Al Bairre – Let’s Fall in Love Some More

Adulting is tough; it’s not like Tinder where you can swipe left if you don’t like what’s in front of you. Sometimes, I just don’t want to think about pension funds and tax rebates. I’d prefer to join kids playing in the park, or jump up and down on my bed as Britney Spears did in CrossRoads, although we all know where that led in 2007 when she had a breakdown and shaved her hair off. I love playing this song when I need to be reminded what it feels like to be light, carefree and giddy on life.

Sakawa Boys – I Don’t Want to Teach English in South Korea

If my life were an Instagram story and it flashbacked to a perfect Cape Town summer, this would be the score. Think cycling along the promenade, climbing Lion’s head, ice-cream selfies and images of lying on the beach with #nofilter.

When I first saw the title of this song, I Don’t Want to Teach English in South Korea; I had a good, long laugh. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with teaching English in South Korea, but the title brings to mind many bar conversations where people who don’t know what they want to do with their lives say, ‘ag, I guess if all else fails, I’ll just teach English in Korea and travel a bit.’ Is that a millennial thing?

Msaki – Iifama Ziyabona Zaneliza

I watched Msaki and the Golden Circle live for the first time at last year’s Cape Town Fringe Festival. The entire audience was utterly captivated by her presence, and the experience was nothing short of magical. She’s one of my favourite South African musicians.


Sannie Fox – Glorious Wonder

For me, this is such a Sunday road trip song, the kind where the sun’s warmth forces you to open the car window and stick your head out for a moment to feel the air whoosh past you. The world can feel overwhelming tragic and sometimes you need to take stock of all the wonder around you and reach out your loved ones with a gesture of thanks.

Hot Water – Wamkelekile

I first heard Hot Water when I was on Zone Radio. We had a feature called No Hoops Required where we’d play new South African music, and this song was on the list. Like Al Bairre’s Let’s Fall in Love Some More, it never fails to put in a good mood.

Stone Jets – Hurricane

One night I was bored, in a carpe diem mood, and didn’t know what to do within the 5km CBD bubble that’s Cape Town. I walked down the road to Blah Blah Bar, now The Vic, for a drink and ended up listening to The Stone Jets. The gig was small allowing me to dance at the back like an idiot without feeling self-conscious.

Lonesome Dave and Moonchild Sanelly – The Weekend

The laid-back R&B and soul sound on this track has got that lazy, Friday-after-work-drinks feeling when the night is young, and anything can happen because #YOLO, and you’re a flaky Capetonian who’s non-committal about your plans.

Bye Beneco – Chemirocha

Bye Beneco describes their music with the following tags, “experimental rock, ambient blues, bossa nova, country, folk, indie jazz and pop’, which is broad and eclectic and the reason why I enjoy their sound. This song comes off their 2014 album, Space Elephant.


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