Top 10 Best SA Afro-soul Artists 2019 – Afro-soul music South Africa is the pillar of South Africa, with some of the most successful entertainers in South Africa being Afro Soul artists.
Moreover, some artists have fans beyond the continent. Most artists in this genre have an impressive vocal range, and they are some of the best singers in the continent. Here are the best 11 Afro-soul artists in South Africa in no particular order.
Bulelwa Mkutukana aka Zahara is one the most known Afro soul artist from South Africa. Zahara is a 30 year-old singer, songwriter, recording artist, and poet who was born in East London, Eastern Cape. She has performed all over the African continent. Zahara is a part of Warner Music Group. Her big break came in 2011 when she dropped her debut album Loliwe. The album achieved double platinum status within 19 days, making her the second artist in SA to reach the status in record time, the other being Brenda Fassie. The album features her hit song ‘Loliwe’ that received airplay all over Africa. Zahara has won many awards including Album of the Year, Female Artist of the Year, and Best-Selling album in the 18th Annual South African Music Awards.
2. Amanda Black
Amanda Benedicta Antony, famously known as Amanda Black, is a South African singer, and she is a part of Sony Music Africa. Amanda is a 26 year-old singer, songwriter, and recording artist who was born in Mthatha, Eastern Cape. She became famous after being part of season 11 of Idols SA, and in 2016, her debut album ‘Amazulu’ achieved platinum status in three weeks. Amanda is still a relatively new artist, and many are keen to hear what she has to offer when she drops her second album. She recently dropped a new single ‘Thandwa Ndim’.
Nathi Nathi, whose full name is Nkosinathi Mankayi, is a 36 year-old singer and songwriter from Mthatha, Eastern Cape. Nathi’s rise to fame was filled with many hurdles, including serving 4 years of prison time for a robbery-related offense. After being released from prison, he pursued his dream of becoming an artist. In 2015, he released his debut studio album ‘Buyelekhaya’, which had the hit song ‘Nomvula’ as the lead single. The album took six weeks before being certified platinum. Nathi won the Best-Selling Album and Best R&B/ Soul/ Reggae Album at the 22nd SAMAs. He has since then released two more projects, and his latest song is ‘Iphupha Labantu’.
Lerato Molapo, famously known as Lira, is one of the well-known artists from South Africa. She was born in Daveyton, Johannesburg, and her influencers include the legendary artist Miriam Makeba, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, and Nina Simone. Lira released her first album ‘All my love’ in 2003. Several of Lira’s albums include Feel good and Soul in Mind, which have been certified platinum. She also won many awards including Best African Act at the 2009 MOBO Awards and a nomination for Best International Artist at the 2012 BET Awards.
5. Vusi Nova
Vusi Nova is a singer and songwriter who was born in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Vusi won the Best Afro Pop Album at the 2017 South African Afro Music Awards. Undoubtedly, he is one of the best male vocalists in Africa. His latest album is Manyan-Nyan, and it was released in 2018.
Donald Moatshe, known by his stage name Donald, is a 34 year-old singer, songwriter, recording artist, and entertainer who was born in Mantserre, North West. He runs his own record label D-Exclusive that he started in 2011. His debut album ‘Know You Better’ was released in 2010, receiving mixed reactions. Donald’s second album, ‘Train of Love’, which had his hit song ‘I Deserve’, achieved the platinum status. He later released his third album ‘Black and White in 2014 that has also achieved the platinum status. Donald has a unique voice and his productions are top-notch.
7. Naima Kay
Naima Kay whose official name is Lungile Khumalo is a 28 year-old singer and songwriter who was born in Port Shepstone, Kwa-Zulu Natal. She is signed to Universal Music (Pty) Ltd. She released her last album ‘All About Love” in 2016, and it featured the track ‘Thando’. Naima has established herself and has been dropping projects consistently since the release of her first album in 2013.
Thandiswa is a 43 year-old singer from Johannesburg, South Africa. She is also the lead singer of the popular South Africa kwaito group, Bongo Maffin. After dropping five albums with the group, Thandiswa decided to go solo in 2004, dropping her first album ‘Zabalaza’. The album achieved double platinum status and won her the Best African Female award at the Kora award and four SAMAs. Her music is full of content with topics ranging from politics to feminism. Thandiswa Mazwai dropped her latest album Belede in 2016.
9. Simphiwe Dana
Simphiwe Dana is a singer, songwriter, and record producer who was born in Gcuwa, Eastern Cape. Simphiwe began her singing career performing at small clubs in Johannesburg, and her big break came when she dropped her debut album ‘Zandisile’ in 2004. The album earned her several awards including Best Newcomer and Best Jazz Vocal Album at the 11th South African Music Awards. Some called her the “New Miriam Makeba”. She released her last album ‘Celebrating Ten Years Live at the Bassline’ in 2016, and it featured a compilation of some of her best works.
Introduced to South Africa with the release of her stunning debut ‘Thandolwethu’ – revered as a classic South African ballad, Berita has gone on to release three critically and commercially acclaimed albums, earning platinum sales and multiple coveted awards. Her previous single released early this year, ‘Ndicel’ikiss’ peaked at number 21 on the Radio monitor RAMS chart and has become a firm favourite at live performances. On the 8thof August 2019 BERITA released YOURS, a single her latest offering which shot straight up to the best of the week on Apple music.