South Africa had an entertaining year in 2016, with some of the best music from various artists across the country. Below 10 most popular South African music singles that music lovers and received extensive airplay on radio, with some of the artists winning awards for their work.
Kwesta Featuring Cassper Nyovest – Ngud
“Ngud” by Hip Hop artist, Kwesta, featuring Cassper Nyovest was one of the biggest singles of 2016. The song, which is off Kwesta’s third studio album, “DaKAR II,” and produced by DJ Maphorisa, was the most playlisted song on South African Radio in 2016 and spent 14 nonconsecutive weeks at number 1. Kwesta was a favourite at the 23rd Annual South African Music Awards, scooping up coveted awards including Highest Airplay of the Year, Best Male Artist of the Year, and Best Rap Album.
Kwesta also made local hip hop headlines after making a guest appearance on one of the biggest hip hop radio shows in the U.S., Sway in the Morning with Sway Calloway.
Sketchy Bongo and Shekhinah – Let You Know
“Let You Know” by Durban producer, Sketchy Bongo, and singer, Shekhinah, was one of the most played songs of 2016. The song, which is off Sketchy Bongo’s 2017 debut album “Unmasked,” earned the producer a nomination at the 23rd South African Music Awards for Best Newcomer of the Year, as well as an award at the 2016 MTV Africa Music Awards for Best Pop & Alternative. The official music video for the song was published by New York-based electronic music record label, Ultra Music, and has since amassed over 1.3 million views.
Babes Wodumo – Wololo
One of 2016’s biggest songs in South Africa was “Wololo” by Durban-born singer, Babes Wodumo, featuring Mampintsha from the popular Durban-based trio, Big Nuz. The song topped most of the country’s charts, including the YFM Top 40 Chart and the Shazam Chart. She has been nominated for numerous awards for the song, including Best Female Artist of the Year for her debut album, “Gqom Queen Vol. 1” at the 23rd South African Music Awards, Best New Act at the 2016 MTV Africa Music Awards, and recently at the 2017 BET Awards, a nomination for Best International Act. The song has since amassed over 6 million views on YouTube.
The song got lots of people singing and dancing, including this young South African boy whose social media video of him singing the song went viral.
GoodLuck – I’ve Been Thinking about You
Cape Town electronic dance music band, GoodLuck, rocked the airwaves with their remake of London Beats 1990 smash hit “I’ve Been Thinking about You.” This song is the top single off their album, “The Nature Within,” which won Best Pop Album at the 23rd South African Music Awards.
Nasty C – Hell Naw
The smash hit “Hell Naw” by hip hop artist, Nasty C, was one of the most played songs on the airwaves, topping most charts including the Coke Top 40 Chart and the Shazam Chart. “Hell Naw” is the lead single from his debut album, “Bad Hair.” Nasty C’s work earned him a number of nominations and awards, including a nomination for Best Rap Album at the 23rd South African Music Awards, a nomination for Best New Act at the 2016 MTV Africa Music Awards, a nomination for Best International Act at the 2017 BET Awards, and an award for Song of the Year at the 16th Metro FM Music Awards.
Nasty C recently made local hip hop headlines after appearing on Sway in the Morning, one of the biggest hip hop radio shows in the U.S., with Sway Calloway.
Miss Pru – Ameni
The hit single “Ameni” by Miss Pru featuring EmTee, Saudi, Sjava, Fifi Cooper, A-Reece, and B3nchmarq was one of the biggest releases of 2016. The track appeared on most charts across the country, including on the Metro FM and YFM Music Charts, and has amassed over 2 million views on YouTube. The song won Best Music Video of the Year at the 23rd South African Music Awards.
Crazy White Boy Featuring Julia Church – Something New
After a hiatus from mainstream music, Cape Town duo, Crazy White Boy, came back on the scene with the chart-topping single featuring Julia Church, “Something New.” The single gained traction on major charts such as the Coke Top 40 Chart, the YFM Top 40 Chart, as well as the Shazam Chart. The song has amassed over 127,000 views on YouTube.
Bhizer Featuring Busiswa, SC Gorna, and Bhepepe – Gobisiqolo
“Gobisiqolo” was one of 2016’s most popular tracks, not only on radio but also at parties and on social media as people showed off their best dance moves to the song. “Gobisiqolo” has its own dance move, Gobisiqolo (break your back), which is popularly coupled with the new dance craze in South Africa called Gwara Gwara, made famous by Durban-based artist, DJ Bongz. The song has amassed over 2.6 million views on YouTube.
Black Motion – Imali
“Imali” by Pretoria duo, Black Motion, was a popular song in 2016, taken off their latest album, “Ya Badimo.” The song received lots of airplay on prominent stations such as Metro FM, and the album earned the Duo 2 Awards at the 23rd South African Music Awards for Best Dance Album and Best Duo Group of the Year.
TiMO ODV – I Need You
Electronic music sensation, TiMO ODV, had the most played song on South African Radio in 2015 with the hit, “Save Me,” and his follow-up single “I Need You” was successful, being played extensively on radio and topping most charts including the Coke Top 40 and Shazam charts. The song has since amassed over 590,000 views on YouTube.