I was having a chat with Dan Carter this week (as you might’ve seen on Boots & All) and the conversation drifted to my admiration for one of New Zillund‘s top musical exports, Kimbra… I then discovered that he doesn’t have a single South African muso on his iPod (shock, horror!) and I duly pointed out to him that he’s missing out. Big time.

He mentioned that if I – or anyone else, for that matter – had recommendations for him, he’d love to hear from you, just tweet @DanCarter . I thought I’d open the floor with 5 excellent South African songs. This list is by no means the best 5, there are so many awesome songs out there that I had a really tough time deciding and went the first 5 that came to mind. This post should also serve as a high-5 to these artists for making music I like to brag with. My list is OBVIOUSLY biased, so I dare you to do better, get commenting / tweeting!

1. Seether: 

I was lucky enough to see them live for the third time at Oppikoppi this year and just realized again how phenomenally talented, cool & down to earth Shaun Welgemoed is. Random trivia: he played age group rugby for Maritzburg College, front row! With international hit singles like Gasoline, Broken, Remedy, Fake It & Rise Above This Seether is probably the South African rock export of the past decade and I this single was the no1 most played single on Mediabase in the US in 2011:

2. Flash Republic:

I have been a big fan of Tamara Dey’s for ages, but her die-hard dedication to her craft really made an impression on me when she performed on Studio1 a few years ago. She was violently ill, but we had a live TV show to rehearse and despite nearly passing out in the dressing room between rehearsals and show time, the sheer professionalism she brought to the stage that night (having seen how broken she looked behind the scenes) was simply inspirational. She’s also ridiculously talented and knows exactly how to get a crowd on their feet.

And then, of course, they stole my heart when they collaborated on this track with one of my other favourites Foto Na Dans “Afrikaans”

*gooooosebumps*

3. Jack Parow & JR

Theses guys know how to cross over. For someone who raps mostly in Afrikaans that hasn’t stopped Jack Parow, not at all, and JR covers such a distinctly South African vibe with his clever collaborations and rhymes about things most South Africans relate to (See his break-out hit Show Dem ). This was a match begging to happen. Here they are together with Afrikaans Alt Pop group Die Heuwels Fantasties (the hills fantastic).

4. Die Antwoord

The filthiest, crassest, most in-your-face thing to happen to Afrikaans, Africa and the world since…ever. Loved from here to Japan, Germany and across the US of A, these guys taught the world how to chant the filthiest words in my mother tongue en masse. They were punted by Fred Durst, Katy Perry and got a deal from Interscope, which they ultimately left behind. Rumour is that they also said no thanks to an opening slot for Lady Gage. Yes it’s provocative, but this music video is very, very well made!

5. Kongos

The Kongos brothers have South African roots, but solid American accents and when they’re not playing to their adoring fans in SA, they’re in a van touring the States. Hard working, talented and one big family-traveling-band. This is my favorite song off their debut album Lunatic, it name-checks Cape Town and it comes complete with a beautiful video shot here in SA. What more could you want?


Now watch, listen, replay and share!