#ZAPlaylist: Introducing the future of South African music

We reached out to the artists, the songwriters and the spitters! And they came out in their numbers, autotuned and ready to show the world what they got. 

By  | Jun 22, 2020, 01:45 PM  | Top of The


NOW, the time has come for the first ZAlebs #ZAPlaylist showing off 10 of these talented up-and-coming South African artists. It wasn't easy, but after hours of listening, taking notes, cringeing and smiling we found the gems and we're displaying them today. Before we get into them, check their music first. 

Now, let's introduce you to these amazing artists

Artists: Tsukudu (Ft. Melo B. Jones)

Song: Slow Grind

Social media: 



Tsukudu x Melo B Jones
instagram/tsukudu and instagram/melobjones

Fresh out the depths of that future sound is Tsukudu. The man hails all the way from Jhb and loves to create new sounds and makes music purely to feed his passion for it. The feels he creates on this track are very lush, with a  sparse touch of drums allowing the Stay True Sounds boom-baptist Melo to flow just like silk through it. 

Artists: Totem (Ft. BF)

Song: Holy Matrimony

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Totem, or Thato from marketing is a research and marketing coordinator by day and an introspective emcee by night. Hailing from the West of Johannesburg (West Rand), he's a unique representation of his surroundings and expresses his thoughts through his music coming from an introspective perspective. Holy Matrimony, taken from his November 20th Sessions album, is proof of the man's spit range. He doesn't hog the mic though, he passes it to his homie BF to finish off all haters. 

Artist: Irrelevant Papi x Thobeofheart

Song: Vanilla Latté

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Irrelevant Papi x Thobeofheart

Irrelevant Papi a.k.a Padrino a.k.a King of the Loops is a member of Phuma Sathane Recordings and the man who has provided beats for Jozi rap Kings Riz Ventura, Illy Amin, Inferno Williams amongst others. He's kept the streets fed with his Phuma Sathane compadre Argentine Merseyside. Vanilla Latté, is taken from his joint collaboration album with soul singer Thobeofheart who sings over a loop about missing his favourite 'brew'. 

Artist: Oudskul Funk

Song: Family, Friends, Lovers and Memories

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Oudskul is a soul and hip-hop fiend who hails all the way from Durban. He's a one man band man who's main forté is sampling and creating head knocking hip-hop and soul beats with that extra bass. Think J-Dilla but from KZN. On this sparse neo-soul track he's speaking about the importance of Family, friends, lovers and memories. 

Artist: STHRN

Song: Summer Daze x AKA | Mini-flip | Plan46beats

Social media: 



provided by artist

For Botswana-born China-based producer STHRN the journey into music is proving to be a fruitful one. From humble beginnings in Southern Africa’s most mineral-rich countries, Botswana, to applying himself to succeed in a foreign country in hopes to build a better future for himself. STHRN (real name Potlako Ntabe) is a medical student in China, who makes music in his spare time.STHRN has been releasing music through Polish-based label, Icy Penguin, and has plans to release more music in future. The goal: flood the internet streets with good quality content.

Artist: Darkie Fiction

Song: Fiction Sound

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Darkie Fiction

It's always awesome when things come in two's. I mean, i-Top Deck, peanut butter, and jam that's why when we heard about this duo that brings back feels of early Bongo Maffin and Boom Shaka we were ready to embrace them. Hailing all the way from Cape Town these guys are here to dispel all beliefs that to sell you have to bite from the US. 

Artist: Minnie 

Song: Kunini Ngihlupheka Baba

Social media: 



Minnie Kunini
Artist given

Minnie Ncwane is a Durban based rapper who is under the Give Thanks Communications record label. Known in his hometown for making rap music with a socially conscious message and traditional Zulu beats. He's also known for being the only rapper to ever 'fill up' the Jazzy Rainbow. A hard worker and game changer he's ready to take over from KZN upwards.

Artist: Honey Molasses

Song: Jeffrey Dahmer 

Honey Molasses

Taking on the musical stylings of FKA Twigs and Sabrina Claudio is singer, producer and songwriter extrodinaire Honey Molasses. Honey was one of 5 producers to represent South Africa in London at the Nando's Music Exchange Programme held at the Roundhouse in Camden. Artists such as Example, Toya Delazy and Little Simz were part of the programme as mentors. She later became a member of the Sky Heaven PTY team in 2017.

Artist: Oldskool Ace (Ft. Liyana and Samurai Bruja)

Song: Quintessence

Social media: 



oldskool ace
Artist provided

It's become a norm for rappers to have their young ones 'spit' a few bars in their songs. One rapper who is following the lead of Jay-Z in this regard is new father Oldskool Ace. Oldskool Ace is a hip-hop artist who hails all the way from Durban. His latest album 'Congratulations' gives us a sneak peek into the greatest achievement he's gotten yet: being a father. 

Artist: Robin Thirdfloor

Song: Ethekwini

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robin thirdfloor

iBhotela, iDanono, not because he's a cheese boy but because is'tayela sakhe siyashelela. Robin Thirdfloor is an Umlazi native first and a rapper after. After getting his official co-sign from Tshepo Ramoba and being part of Post-Post he's found himself all over the world. Listen to him show love to the city that raised him 'Ethekwini'. 

AND that's it! These are some of the artists we're saying look out for on your nearest street corner because they're doing the right things. You also want to see your name here? Send an email with Soundcloud links to your music, an image and social media links to [email protected] Or, you can just hashtag #ZAPlaylist when you post your music and we'll find you.