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Consistently a flood of artists breaks into South African music scene.

Last year featured youthful craftsmen, for example, Mlindo The Vocalist, Muzi, Una Rams, Shekhinah, Sho Madjozi, KLY, Zoocci Coke Dope, Flame, J Molley, Rowlene and more progressed towards becoming commonly recognized names and web sensations. They dropped jams that helped form the nation’s melodic scene—a ton of them were on the rundown of 20 craftsmen who could fuck up the game in 2018.

Close by the previously mentioned craftsmen, there were similarly the same number of who were rising under, dropping singles that grabbed the attention of numerous music fans. In 2019, these craftsmen stand an extraordinary shot of growing further and reaching a larger audience than they did a year ago.

From Manu WorldStar’s dazzling fly, to Ranks’ variant of ATM (African device music), the invigorating Xhosa rap of Dee Koala, the road raps of Touchline, among others, we are happy to present to you a rundown of South African specialists to watch out for in 2019.

*The list is in no particular order.

Manu WorldStar

Manu WorldStar had one of the biggest South African songs of 2018 under his belt. “Nalingi” saw the artist trade the bars for titillating melodies over pop and afrobeats-leaning production.When we interviewed Manu in 2018, he told us he was working on an album. It should go without saying that in 2019, we will get more hits from the artist. We’re still waiting for it.

Jay Claude

download jay claude

Jay Claude has sung memorable hooks for the likes of DJ Speedsta, Stogie T, Stilo Magolide and released tons of solo material. The man’s work is dripping with that old school R&B sauce, but he’s still able to pull off the sing-songy rap style of modern rap and R&B (peep the song “Overdose”). Jay Claude has one of the tightest production teams on Tru Hitz and Cokayn Beatz, so it goes without saying that his upcoming EP will be a scorcher. We are so expecting this one.

Dee Koala

Dee Koala is one of the most exciting artists in South Africa’s new wave. Her light-hearted Xhosa and slang punchlines are always a pleasure to hear over those mad trap beats that she normally raps over. Dee Koala caught the attention of Riky Rick last year, and has been rocking on many festivals outside of Cape Town. It’s been a while since Cape Town gifted the SA hip-hop scene with a young artist who’s bringing something new to the table. Dee Koala is highly likely to break that cycle, as she’s probably going to get bigger in 2019.


touchline rapper

Touchline is, well, a punchline monster, same as one of his biggest inspirations, the late Pro, was. The MC dropped one of the most solid hip-hop EPs last year, on 18 Flow, using his lyrical gymnasts to tell stories and let you know that you can’t fuck with him on the mic. Earlier this year, Punchline was invited by DJ Citi Lyts to share an instrumental with fellow wordsmiths Red Button and Gigi Lamayne on the song “Cel’ Ukuthi.” Punchline is proof that South African hip-hop just keeps giving birth to great lyricists, who combine their influences to create their own identities. You can just help but be on the look out for him.

Lucille Slade

lucile slade

Lucille Slade has been on the grind. From releasing vocal covers of hip-hop songs such as Cassper Nyovest‘s “Tito Mboweni” and AKA‘s “Baddest,” among others, to lending hooks for the likes of Blaklez, Stogie T and Stickx, and dropping solo singles and projects, this woman clearly doesn’t know what the meaning of sleep or stop is. Last year, she dropped the single “What You Think About That,” and she has the EP Scratch The Surface under her belt. It’s her potency as a singer and unmatched work ethic that earns her a deserved spot on this list. 2019 should be an exciting one for her. We honestly hope so.

This will be all for now. Will keep you posted.

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