This year brought no much surprises in the music scene and we did not see many new artists come and shake up the scene.
It was rather a year of the OGs, the same artists we have known and who have reigned before. We present you this year’s top 10 songs of 2018 which dominated on radio, TV charts and ofcourse streaming charts.
Let it be clear that this list was not put together based on radio charts only, or based on one specific platform. We have considered songs that are on high rotation on multiple radio stations, TV music shows, chart on iTunes, Spotify, Shazam and of course it matters to mention the street culture, tunes people are jamming to in clubs, venues, parties, and sharing on social media. Other factors which influenced the selection includes; longevity, production and originality.
We have picked the songs not based on a specific genre but it’s across all genres, either Hip-Hop, Amapiano, Kwaito, House, AfroPop etc. And all the songs below are only songs released/debuted in 2018.
Here are the Top Songs of 2018 from 10 – 1:
10. Manu World Star – Nalingi
A very unique type of song by a newcomer to the scene. Manu World Star dropped ‘Nalingi’ back in October and it blew to the charts.
Nalingi is more of an Afro-pop versus Afrobeats – making it a song which offers all sorts of flavas. This is Manu World’s biggest tune to date, which also tells a beautiful story with the visuals. The song represents a true African sound through the beats and various instruments.
9. Mlindo The Vocalist – Macala (feat. Sfeesoh, Kwesta & Thabsie)
Mlindo The Vocalist was another new artist to break the scene in 2018. And the minute fans fell in love with his sound, they wanted an LP project. He released his debut f‘Emakhaya’ giving fans some more of his voice.
Because of the demand by fans ‘Emakhaya’ simultaneously became a solid release from Mlindo, presenting a listener with heart-soothing and rhythmic afro-pop sound fused with African beats and pure traditional music.
He broke the scene with ‘AmaBlesser’ (feat. DJ Maphorisa) and Macala (feat. Kwesta, Thabsie and Sfeesoh) since then it came down to his second single ‘Macala’ which grew rapidly into charts, radio and TV.
Macala is a groovy-afro pop jam which features Sfeesoh, Thabsie and Kwesta , whom all give the song different and vibey moods.
8. Sun-EL Musician – Sonini (feat. Simmy & Lelo Kamau)
Sun-El Musician impressed masses with the release of ‘Akanamali’ in 2017. Featuring sweet brother love Samthing Soweto’s bluesy musings, it snuck up on, and shattered, dance charts with impeccable verve, in turn setting the tone for the deejay/producer’s debut long-player.
Besides ‘Akanamali’ and ‘Bamthathile’, ‘Sonini’ is another release which put Sun-EL on the spotlight. It is from the well-orchestrated production you can tell how the vocal delivery and collaboration with Simmy and Lelo Kamau is perfect.
One the best house music songs to come this year. The song comes off Sun-EL’s debut offering ‘Africa to the World’.
7. Kwesta – Vur Vai
Kwesta is another artist you can never miss on such a list because of his insane catalogue. He paved way into with his 2017 record, ‘Spirit’ feat Wale and has since released ‘Vur Vai’ which is more of a kwaito-influenced song merging with a smooth Hip-hop approach.
Vur Vai managed to stand out as another anthem on radio charts and digital charts. Definitely not an easy to see this type of sound still winning. And since Kwesta has carried the baton with this kwaito/Hip-hop flava, he found a way to remain consistent from the days of ’Ngud.’
6. DJ Sumbody – Monate Mpolaye (feat. Cassper Nyovest, Thebe & Veties)
Monate Mpolaye is another smash and ratchet anthem which appeals to many because of its Pitori style. The language and tone of the song makes it a hit straight away. DJ Sumbody called on Cassper Nyovest , Thebe, Veties whom all gives the song that kwaito vibes – but the whole sound still goes back to piton streets sound with a flow of Amapiano.
You should see how many crowds go wild when Cassper and DJ Sumbody delivers the song live on stage. Many are still talking about Cassper recent performance at the Global Citizen Festival because of the very same song.
It is without a doubt we see Cassper Nyovest taking more spotlight for this song, because of the crazy verse, but more importantly, this has been his style when it comes to kwaito vibe and slang. He has recently gone on to release a kwaito influenced project ‘Sweet & Short’. The album sees Cassper dedicating his energy on the kwaito sound and throwing in interesting features with Shwi Nomtekhala.
5. Dladla Mshunqisi – Pakisha ( feat. Distruction Boyz & DJ Tira)
It will definitely be disrespectful to not have a Qgom song cracking this list. And that’s what Dladla Mshunqisi did with Pakisha. Yes, the biggest Qqom song of 2018! After doing a number of features with Durban artists, Dladla decided to own this year when he debuted this jam in February. And 10 months later you will never believe how nuts crowds go when it plays. The song is a solid collaboration with DJ Tira, Distruction Boyz. Since then, Afrotainment Records decided to take over the spotlight when they gave Dladla his first debut ‘Umshunqo’. The album is definitely a Qqom masterpiece which invites a number of features with Busiswa, Tipcee, Nokwazi to mention a few.
Pakisha is an excellent song which gives any type of party a total jump because of the energy in production and vocals.
4. Vusi Nova – Asphelelanga
Vusi Nova released Asphelanag back in October, and the song effortlessly became an anthem to many South Africans. Because this is an Afro-pop song which preaches an emotional message, it was easy for Vusi to crack it and relate with all age groups from young kids to older people.
Asphelalenga pays tributes to many fallen great local artists such as Sfiso Ncwane, Mandoza and more.
The song was however criticized for leaving out other artists who passed away within the maskandi genre.
But that did not stop the song from claiming top spots on various charts.
3. King Monada – Malwedhe
King Monada is no stranger to the scene and delivering music that captures the entire scene. After releasing ‘Moreki’ back in 2016, many people got introduced to his style and Monda as a proud bolobedu artist. His style of music is unique when presented to one’s ear, but to fans, it’s just great party music we want to dance to.
Monada debuted ‘Malwedhe’ back in October and it easily, rapidly grew and became a massive jam in the country, even as far as people creating a ‘falling’ challenge which became a trend in a minute.
2. Prince Kaybee – Banomoya (feat. Busiswa & TNS)
Prince Kaybee’s ‘Banomoya’ is definitely another song which deserves the top spot, because of the of the massive reception and wrecking the charts. For years, now Prince Kaybee has delivered a great catalogue of hits and collaborations. On this one, he has called on Busiswa who has done justice on the vocals.
Prince Kaybee sound is easy to recognize and it’s because of his consistency when it comes to the production. ‘Banomoya’ is one of the great songs to come out of South Africa, because of its excellent melody, arrangement and Busiswa’s energy and lyrics – are what people can easily relate to.
1. AKA – Fela In Versace
AKA’s delivery on this one takes reign for coming up with such a brilliant song for the Hip-Hop scene. That alone deserves a major credit. Yes, you could have expected a house jam, or kwaito jam to take this spot. AKA’s collaboration with Kiddominat can be described as a masterpiece or even magical. The production of the song is well-orchestrated from the vocal work, laying down of beats, and other elements making up this sing-along anthem. The song also takes the spot because of its stamina to become a timeless classic and age well in years to come.