South Africa is full of fascinating local arts and cultural events that showcase the nation's top musicians and artists. The newest addition to the nation's festival circuit is Afropunk, an annual global festival that features live music, fashion, and art from artists across the African Diaspora. For two years now, Afropunk, which originally started in Brooklyn, New York, has taken over Johannesburg's Constitution Hill to celebrate South African culture and musicians. It is truly an extraordinary event if your are looking to learn about talented Black artists locally and globally. Recently, AfroPunk released it's 2019 lineup that included a unique selection of South African artists ranging from rock bands to rap artists. The wide array of distinct sounds will surely have any music lover jamming at the festival.
The Folklore Team compiled a list of the South African Artists performing at Afropunk Johannesburg 2019 that you need in your life.
Busiswa is a South African singer-songwriter and poet. She was born in Eastern Cape, South Africa. Her love of poems was what brought her on the path to making music. She collaborated with many of the artists she met while traveling around the poetry readings circuit. Although she's been collaborating with artists for a while, she first gained recognition with her feature on DJ Zinhle's song, "My Name Is".
Distruction Boyz is a Durban based Gqom music duo. Gqom music is a genre of electronic dance music that emerged in the early 2010s in Durban, South Africa. The dynamic duo are known for bringing more light to this genre through the music that they produce. The duo consists of Zipho Mthembu who is known to the world as Goldmax, and Thobani Mthembu, widely known as Que.
Maya Christinah Xichavo Wegerif is a South African Rapper who goes by the stage name Sho Madjozi. She is known for rapping in her native tongue Tsonga. Sho Madjozi tends to experiment a lot with different sounds but has found a good match in Gqom, the electronic dance genre. She first gained prominence after releasing the hit single "Huku". After that she has continued to rise in her field.
Zoë Modiga is a singer-songwriter and performer who is known for representing the present and future of South African Music. She uses a mixture of jazz composition and Motown soul whilst also incorporating her own voice which creates a distinct sound. Zoë has collaborated with some of South Africa’s finest musicians including Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Thandiswa Mazwai, Jonny Clegg, Simphiwe Dana, Louis Maholo, Tshepo Tshola,and many more. She has won many awards for her music and continues to succeed due to how multifaceted she is.
Teboho Mochaoa, more commonly known as Morena Leraba, is a musician from the Mountain Kingdom of Lesotho. His sound can best be described as a mixture of electronic dance, dub and hip-hop. His unique sound has created a pathway for more opportunities for him in different global markets including the European market. Morena leraba has performed in many events including the Trans Musicales in France, and as part of the Onipa Showcase at Eurosonic in the Netherlands.
Darkie Fiction is a South African music duo based in Johannesburg. The duo consists of rapper Katt Daddy and songstress Yoza Mnyanda. Their music draws influence from kwaito, Afrofunk, Neo-soul, and hip hop. The duo aims to pay homage to authentic South African music of yesteryear. Some of their recent popular songs are Bhoza, and My Ntilizyo.
TCIYF is a skate punk band based in Soweto that formed in 2010. The official band members are Pule (Lead singer), Thula (Lead guitarist), Tox (Bass guitarist) and Jazz (Drummer). Their musical sound is different due to how loud and rough their music is. TCIYF music is quite thought provoking which is what attracts people to their music.
The queer performer/music producer Umlilo, pushes the boundaries of electronic Kwaito with his use of alternative pop music in contemporary South Africa. Umlilo is truly breaking stereotypes since he openly expresses himself through his gender blending music eventhough South Africa currently has an issue with homophobia.