It’s a Music Monday and this week we present to you a selection of 10 Albums you should be listening to right now!
There’s a bunch of new albums on the shelf right now and that makes it abit hard to pick which one should go on your playlist. Well we tried our best….the below selection is a bit of everything from House music, Hip Hop, Afro-pop/Soul and are released this year; last quarter. The selection is also influenced by the domination of airplay from radio, tv, festivals and the massive relevancy cemented by the artists in this current culture.
Here are the albums:
A-Reece – Paradise
Released in october, A-Reece put out this debut album with extra effort. And it is definetly what you have been waiting for from this Pretorian talent. Packed with 18 tracks, the list includes his previously released singles; Couldn’t , Mgani, Sebenza and Zimbali which we won’t talk much about since you got them. Major features appearing on the projects includes Emtee, P-Jay and ofcourse the sensational singer Amanda Black who did massive justice on her features + writing.
Nathi – Umbulelo Wam
Nathi’s second studio album ‘Umbulelo Wam’ is definitely a must-have for the afro-pop fans. Released 28 October, the album delivers soulful and mellow sound , ofcourse with Nathi’s authentic, rich Xhosa lyrical content. Tracks you will enjoy on the album includes; Amagama, Lalala, Malumekazi to mention a few.
Maraza – Blind
Another super talent to dominate local hip hop in 2016 …..Maraza decided to finally drop his debut project ‘Blind’ which shares his journey from the struggle to this moment in time where he’s on the shine. The rapper paved way for this project with ‘Gwan’ as the opening single and it managed to put him on the spotlight as one of the most relevant artists for 2016. The entire sound of the album is just versatile, with a solid approach on each track, trap, smooth, hardcore beats but he leaves no room on the bars. The lyrical content consists of childhood lessons, today’s culture, the partylife and ofcource love love love.
The albums opens up with an intro track ‘Hind Sight’ a collaborative work with the poetic Sabelo Soko ; who does justice the song, but wait till your hear Maraza’s flow on this one.
From there on the tracklist goes from smooth beats then into the usual trap hip hop with introducing various elements on most of the songs.
Some of the jams which caught our total attention the album ; ‘My Time features The Black Shoez, ‘Ubumnandi’, Sensual ‘The lord of the rings’ and guitar-filled ‘A real one.’
That is just the tip of the iceberg, the album consists of 15-tracks with feature guest appearances from singers and MCs; Thobeka, Jeii, Aewon Wolf and Mashayabhuqe.
DJ Fresh – Fresh House Flava 9
With over a decade in the music scene, DJ Fresh has just released the 9th installment of his iconic project ‘Fresh House Flava.’ From the first compilation of ‘Fresh House Flava’ in 1998 under House Afrika records, The Big Dawg has remained consistent by inviting various house jocks and producers to be part of each release till this day.
Looking at the playlist you will notice the versatile, groovy sound with the inclusion of DJ Ganyani who’s about the commercial and vocal material, we have Black Coffee who’s delivers a unique sound with african element and other features includes Naija musician ; Dele Sosimi, Carlos Francisco and local talent Bob Ezy, Da Capo , Afro Warriors and the sensational Zameka.
This is a very smart selection by the Big Dawg; he took almost all the exclusive jams that are on high rotation on the club scene at the moment and put them on this project. You cannot avoid DJ Ganyani’s ‘Talk To Me’, Black Coffee’s remix version of ‘In Common’, Bob Ezy’s ‘Talk To Me’ , the smashing Dele’s ‘Too Much Information’ and ofcourse ‘Uyantenkeza’ instrument.
The Soil – ECHOES OF KOFIFI
The award-winning trio, The Soil released their 3rd studio album ‘Echoes of Kofifi.’ Simply presenting their popular authentic Kasi Soul and A cappella sound, the trio continues with their style of music even on this project. Packed with 11-tracks this is must have album if you have been a fan of The Soil from their first project. They bring in versatility with new elements and collaborations with rapper Kwesta and Theo Songstress. Few tracks we fell inlove with includes; Echoes which is a solid and clean intro, Happy a sing along laid back tune, Thetha and Kofifi which has that retro feel to it , that’s just a few.
Black Motion – Ya Badimo
After announcing their major deal with Sony, the Soshanguve duo will see this project go to the global market. Packed with 13-tracks ‘Ya Badimo is their 4th studio album which delivers their authentic sound.
’Heartless Intensions’ remains their lead single after dropping this mega jam mid-2016 to start the journey of the album. When you bump the first track on the album ‘Africana’ you will feel the easy and melodic rhythm which makes it perfect for an intro jam. The second track , which is the title track ‘Ya Badimo’ paves way to what we know the duo for, tribal beats, drums, and a mixture of elements. Notable tracks on the album has to be ‘Imali’ which features Nokwazi on the vocals, jazzy and samba ‘Omo Dudu’ which features Wunmi on the vocals, ‘Teenage’ Love Affair with Xoli M, ‘Bambo Lwam’ which features Afrocentric songstress Simphiwe Dana and ‘The Journey’ which features Toshi.
The overall sound of the album carries Black Motion’s signature sound delivering some creative collaborations and adding new elements to make this project so mature and solid. The album includes interesting features; Chymamusique, Nokwazi, Winnie Khumalo, TRESOR, The Mahotella Queens, Simphiwe Dana and the sensational Toshi.
Amanda Black – Amazulu
After so much anticipation finally , the super talented and sensational – Amanda Black has released her new studio album ‘Amazulu.’ 2016 has been a good year for Ambitiouz Entertainment and recording Amanda is an excellent move by the stable. Most will remember her voice from Season 11 of Idols SA, and since then she never looked back into creating her own story and sharing her style of music inspired by Brenda Fassie, Thandiswa Mazwai, Simphiwe Dana. Amanda paved a way for this project back in June 2016 when she released the leading single ‘Amazulu; which has been a successful release and still is till this day.
The album opens up with ‘Amazulu’ as the intro track, definitely because it’s her signature track and title track. Then paves way into this storytelling afro-pop/R&B filled project which is packed with 14-tracks. The album delivers soulful, laid back and mellow tracks from ‘Kahle’ followed by ‘Uzobuya’ where she talks about a lover who left her heartbroken, ‘Free’ and the acoustic ‘Mna Nawe’ …..just to mention a few. Most of the tracks, lets Amanda sing her soul out talking about love, heartbreak, inner-self and everyday stories which one can relate to.
One can describe this project as a step deep inside the usual afro-pop, with additional elements and massive creativity on the presentation of each track.
Nasty C – Bad Hair
The album has been long anticipated and released exactly at the right moment (September 2016). Local Hip Hop hasn’t seen a massive release for 2016, and ‘Bad Hair’ fell in the right moment. After giving the entire album an ear and was totally blown from the intro till last track. The album kicks off with an introduction lead by Cassper Nyovest , who reveals that Nasty is an inspiration to him.
And following the entire tracklist, have to applaud the great selection of features from Tshego who laid a sick verse on ‘I Lie’, Tellaman, Erick Rush, Rowlene and Riky Rick with Omari Hardwhick on ‘A star is Born.’ The entire album gives us an open book into Nasty C’s life story, experiences, heartbreaks and of course the genius writing. The entire sound goes soulful with a step into hardcore rap and stiff/mellow beats delivered by a variety of producers from Ganja Beatz, The Gobbla to mention a few.
Ice Prince – Jos To The World
Ice Prince released his 3rd studio album ‘Jos To The World’ just weeks ago. The naija supersatr describes this project as a celebration from his journey from his hometown of Jos to his success over the past few years. Packed with 19-tracks the album delivers a number of styles from trap sound, soulful beats and club anthems. The project includes guest appearances from singers and MCs; Singer Tiwa Savage, Yemi Alade, duo Krept and Konan, SA’s very own DJ Bukz and more.
Mobi Dixon – Live The Music
This has been a huge year for Mobi Dixon: The East London-born super-producer snagged three South African Music Award nominations, had his City Rains single remixed by Louie Vega and made a massive splash with this album’s debut single Trigger ft. Inga Hina.
Live The Music represents this talented music maker’s skills – his clipped house beats, generous basslines, propulsive percussion and breezily hypnotic chords form the perfect bedrock for an array of vocalists to exercise their song-craft, and there are lyricists galore on this release. Monique Bingham is back on the hook-heavy Mixed Up Chick, while other lesser-knowns shine in the confines of these clever tracks, including Nana Mbawuli, Pomakazi, Berita, Sakhile Moleshe, Bantu Soul and 2Bad.
There are a few extra special inclusions on Live The Music as Mobi applies his rhythmic science to remixes of Mi Casa & Ladysmith Black Mambazo (the memorable My Sugar) and breakout Afro / R&B star Tresor on hit single Never Let Me Go.
There’s one more reason this album will be the year’s essential Afro-house purchase: a collaboration with drum duo Black Motion, and as one would expect it’s an explosion of tribal percussion, dramatic house synths and distinctly Mzansi motifs.
Which is your favorite album? Which should we check out? Drop your comments below & Join the conversation , even on our Twitter or Facebook :