#BestOf2018 – Top 20 Songs Of 2018

2018 has been a phenomenal year! 

TUNE IN NOW

Africa has become the source of inspiration for the rest of the world. With the cultural zeitgeist at an all time high, African artists are breaking molds, setting trends and releasing outstanding work! Here are our top 20 songs that capture the year in music.

20 The Candy – Grassy Spark 

Grassy Spark received a complete overhaul in 2018! The Cape Town band trimmed down the group to a manageable 5 piece band and ditched their reggae and SKA inspired sound for something a lot more slicker and sweeter.  Thee idea of this band conceiving a new sound certainly peaks our interest and we can’t wait to see what else they have in store for us in the new year.

19 Skeleton Move – Master KG 

The self-taught instrumentalist and music producer is the youngest artist on this chart. If you think Master KG was an overnight success, you’d be wrong! Born & raised in Limpopo, the 22 year-old, released an instrumental version of Skeleton Move back in 2016. The song created just enough buzz to get his foot in the door. “The key to success is being yourself and never pretending to be someone you are not. Uniqueness is the key to anything.” In 2018, he enlisted vocalist, Zanda Zakuza to sing over this infectious and uplifting house beat. If you enjoyed Skeleton Move be sure to check out his debut album.

18  Thinking Bout – Jarrad Ricketts 

If there’s one album you need to listen to before the year ends it would have to be Break The Rules by Jarrad Ricketts . Gallo Records trusted the singer to be himself and it certainly paid off. With complete creative control and freedom over his look and sound, Jarrad Ricketts delivered an album that hearkens back to the 90’s. Borrowing from the punching new jack swing era, Michael & Janet Jackson ushered in, Thinking Bout is one of the standouts on this album.

17 Drive – Black Coffee & David Guetta 

Black Coffee is arguably the biggest music export over the last decade, his discography alone has served as one of the greatest ambassadors for the African continent. In a world where trap music and mumble rap rules the airwaves, Black Coffee’s left-of-field production with collaborator, David Guetta was easily welcomed. While Drive continues to be equally refreshing for radio, the DJ gifted fans with an early Christmas present – the surprise release of his EP Music is King was an experimental work, showcasing Black Coffee’s versatility.

16  Ben Ten – Early B

Picture this, an Afrikaans rapper, spitting bars over a funk inspired riff reminiscent of Uptown Funk, tackling the subject matter of a Ben Ten, sounds like a disaster waiting to happen. But Early B‘s charismatic delivery and tongue and cheek lyrics makes this one of the most lighthearted musical offerings of 2018.

15  Club Controller – Prince Kaybee 

Prince Kaybee must be one of the most hardest working artists of 2018! After being named Male Artist of the Year at this year’s SAMA’s, the Charlotte producer delivered 2 radio hits, Club Controller & Banomoya. If this is a taste of what’s to come the Prince will certainly rule 2019 as well. Keep an ear out for his latest project dropping February 2019.

14 One More Night – Josh Wantie x Wax Beach 

Topping our #SATop20 chart back in July, One More Night is a collaboration between Josh Wantie and Wax Beach. Chatting about the production of this club banger Wantie reveals:  “social media is a powerful tool and awesome way to engage with supporters and other people in the industry. After the guys got in touch with me over twitter, I had a listen to some of their stuff and we met up of a drink. They played me a demo and I loved it. We began work on a track shortly after this and it took shape pretty quickly.” The chemistry between Wanite & Wax Beach is undeniable, if the creative process for these two was this easy, we hope they colab again, real soon!

13 Different – Shekhinah Feat. Mariechan

Different in my own way / Rose Gold, baby, In my own shade.” This certainly was the premise of Shekhinah’s debut album, Rose Gold. The Suited songstress, walked away with the coveted Album of the Year at the South African Music Awards and rightfully so. The 3rd single lifted from the award winning album, features the sweet vocals of former Jamali group member,  Mariechan. 

12  Die Sluise Van Die Hemel – Robbie Wessels & Bok Van Blerk 

Cape Town was at the brink of being the first city to run out of water and  for the most part of 2018, Capetonians were floundering to preserve water. Life certainly imitated art on this record, when Robbie Wessels & Bok Van Blerk decided to lend their voices to this harrowing issue.

11 Macala – Mlindo The Vocalist 

Expect to hear the name, Mlindo The Vocalist a lot more in 2019. The AmaBlesser hitmaker, dropped his highly anticipated album in the third quarter of 2018. One of the biggest standouts on Emakhaya features KwestaThabsie & Sfeesoh. This epic collaboration will have us blasting Macala into the new year.

10 Waiting – Majozi 

Majozi started off the year with a 2 song release strategy, ushering in a fresh new sound. The folky pop singer experimented with a lot more electronic sounds and even enlisted, Gang Of Ballet’s, Brad Klynsmith as one of the producers on the record. The risk certainly paid off for the Durban singer! Majozi’s self-titled, second studio album is one of the most cohesive sounding albums of 2018. Be sure to check out a special appearance from The Soweto Gospel Choir on Lean On My Soul.

09 Ntaba Ezikude –  Sun El Musician Feat. Simmy

No stranger to this chart, Sun El Musician topped our 2017 year-end chart with his record breaking hit, Akanamali. A year later, the acclaimed producer dropped his debut album, Africa To The World – a pulsing piece of work filled to the brim with radio-ready hits.

08 Deeper – Holly Rey 

Drawing from a lush sonic palette, the Durban singer re-teams with house producer, Mondli Ngcobo on this song. The duo conjured up the perfect summer anthem.  Holly Rey shares a wonderful story of how a fan even proposed using her song, listen here.

07 Nuwe Begin – Dewald Wasserfall

It’s been two year since the release of Dewald Wasserfall’s album, Jy Is Die Storm. That album came out at a crucial time for the Afrikaans singer. Not only did it allow, Wasserfall to exercise his writing ability but it helped re-introduce him as formidable contemporary artist. The resurgence and re-invention continued for the Nuwe Begin signer this year, after being announced as one of the mentors and coaches for VIA TV’s singing competition, Die Kontrak. The show further showcased Dewald’s personality and the song became an instant hit when producers used his latest single as the theme song for the first season.

06 iWalk Ye Phara – DJ Maphorisa

Working with the likes of Shekhinah, Kwesta and Drake it’s easy to see why DJ Maphorisa has become one of the most sought after hitmakers. It’s this collaboration between DJ Raybel,  Moonchild Sanelly, K.O & Zulu Mkhathini that earns a spot on this year-end chart. The song was inescapable this year, whether you heard it on Vodacom commercial or first heard it when Beyonce shared it on her Instagram, iWalk Ye Phara was certainly one of the most iconic songs of 2018.

05  Smother – Craig Lucas & Paxton 

Reality singing competition winners always have a lot to prove once their respective season draws a close. The turn-around time for artists to deliver a record is one of the biggest pitfalls these artists face. There’s simply not enough time to find a signature sound. However, Craig Lucas masterfully swerved this common mistake. After capturing the hearts of South Africa on The Voice SA, the Cape Town singer / songwriter, opted for a dark-pop record for his first solo effort. A sound that certainly paved a way for this combustible duet. Smother was the sexiest thing on the radio this year and served as a big pay-off for these two talents.

04  NaLingi – Manu Worldstar 

I swear I lost my focus when you stepped in the room / Your aura blissful beauty from your hair to your shoes” if only every man was as smooth as Manu Worldstar! The rapper seemingly came out of nowhere with this irresistible love song. “I like this song because it allows people to find joy and happiness in loving someone. It’s a universal feeling, whether you’re 12 or 80. We all have those moments when that one person makes your world stop for a minute.

03 Fela In Versace – AKA  Feat. Kiddominant 

Few artists have been the subject of as much public scrutiny this year then AKA. While his public persona may often overshadow his music, the rapper undoubtedly dropped our album of the year. The platinum selling, Touch My Blood sees SuperMega push the pen even further. The album served as an incredible listening experience. Exploring the joys of fatherhood to the pitfalls of a failed relationship.

02 If I Ever Saw Heaven – Roan Ash 

Narrowingly, missing out on our song of the year, Roan Ash earns a spot on this chart for his hauntingly beautiful love song, If I Ever Saw Heaven. In our exclusive track-by-track review, Roan reveals that this career-defining song was actually the last track he recorded on Whisky To My Soul.

01 Collide – Lady Zamar 

One lady reigns supreme over our year-end chart and her name is Lady Zamar. Her debut album, aptly titled King Zamar solidified her as an artist to watch in 2017!  Almost a year later, Zamar fulfilled her promise and released, this colossal crossover hit! Crashing in just over 6 minutes long, Collide takes the listener on a journey of uncertainty, culminating in the realization of an unwavering love. This back and forth conversation she has with herself, actually stems from two different songs. Zamar explains:  “It was two songs one was called Citizen, the other one was called Collide. After listening to them, I realized, that this is one story – just with two different perspectives. So I put it together.”

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