The music of South Africa – Guides, Interviews and Features | Songlines

South Africa Profile

  • Related Artists: Hugh Masekela, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Miriam Makeba, Abdullah Ibrahim, Brenda Fassie, Yvonne Chaka Chaka
  • Related Countries: South Africa

Forged in the adversity of apartheid, South African music is a treasure trove of styles, all of them given a uniquely local and invariably uplifting township twist.

Jazz maestros such as Hugh Masekela and Abdullah Ibrahim and the inspiring voice of Miriam Makeba came to define black South African resistance as they were forced in to exile to make their music heard by the outside world.

From the glorious a cappella Zulu singing of Ladysmith Black Mambazo to the bubblegum pop of Brenda Fassie and Yvonne Chaka Chaka, seldom has popular music sounded so joyously defiant.

In the townships house music morphed into the local variant known as kwaito and vibrant reggae, gospel and hip-hop scenes add to the rich mix.

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