The year 2017 has graced us with a few feel-good bops from international and local artists. Ranging from radio-ready hits to more experimental tunes, we have all had a fair share of experiencing creative genius in sonic format. As the year — and our productivity levels — begins to finally wind down and you start preparing for your summer, we saw it fit to spotlight some of the best releases from the year.
The mellow and lo-tempo release from rapper and TV presenter Shane Eagle reveals the artist’s thoughtfulness and awareness. Look out for the album’s stand-out tracks Strange and Let It Flow.
Album: Gqom is the Future
This 13-track fusion of recognisable gqom traits — including incessant beats and distinct vocal samples — and sghubu’s more softer and elusive melodies includes tracks like Omunye and Shut Up and Groove. The DJ-producer duo, comprising Thobani “Cue” Mgobhozi and Zipho “Gold” Mthembu, were also behind the production of Babes Wodumo’s Wololo.
Melo B Jones
EP: The Start
No stranger to local and international stages, Joburg-based Melo B Jones released her debut EP The Start through Kid Fonque and Jullian Gomes’ label Stay True Recording. The offering takes inspiration from the nostalgic kinds R&B your parents would listen to whilst taking sharp turns towards trap-infused percussions.
EP: The Domino Effect Of Conductive Feathers
Itai Hakim is most commonly know as a quiet and relatively underground Venda and Tsonga vocalist and artist, and The Brother Moves On co-collaborator. Itai’s debut release is a folk-soul mash-up of three mesmerizing songs.
Album: Rose Gold
The former Idols South Africa contestant’s R&B pop soul album is a music gem and includes collaborations from long-time friends Sketchy Bongo, Kyle Deutsch and Dj Sliqe. The music video for Suited, a single off the debut album, is currently at two-million-plus views and counting.
AKA and Anatii
Album: Be Careful What You Wish For
Producer Anatii and rapper AKA came together to work on a 10-track album that has had hip hop heads excited across the country. With immediate hits like Don’t Forget To Pray and Bryanston Drive, the duo infuse gospel melodies, dancehall riffs, and intricate production techniques.
EP: Rosy Disposition
Following 2016’s wild musical journey, including co-signs from Jumping Back Slash and Markus Wormstorm, producer Rose Bonica’s six-track debut EP does not disappoint. Rose’s use of vulnerability, sampling and psychedelic imagery reveals a sincerity that we’re looking forward to hearing more of.
EP: In Good Faith
Cape Town-based producer and hip hop engineer Kay Faith’s debut EP marks Kay’s staying power in rap. The project is also graced by some of the city’s most emerging and established acts, from DJ Ready D, YoungstaCPT and Patty Monroe.
EP: Dry In The DM’s
The Cape-Town based musician (featured on our Hip Hop Artists to Stan for in 2018 article) and visual artist has had a busy year; having released two EPs, exhibiting at the FNB Joburg Art Fair and travelling across South Africa for her Bedroom Tour. The title track from Dry In The DM’s is a contemporary musing on heartbreak and unrequited romance. Don’t miss it.
The experimental duo behind Floors, made up of Mikhaela Faye and Greg Abrahams, produce an immersive listening experience full of lush soundscapes, vintage string instruments and moody backdrops.
Album: Fear Monger
Twenty-year-old Pretoria-born Chee is one of South Africa’s most notable musical exports. Spanning 18 tracks, the neurofunk album traverses dark and heavy territories, with explicit drum and bass references.
Album: 2D Heart
Limpopo-born 19-year-old Matt Carsten’s debut full length album combines acoustic melodies, relatable writing and layered vocals. His first two debut singles, Paper Planes and Our Revolution garnered number one spots on Wild Coast FM and Coastal Radio SA.