South African house is still a leading genre by the popularity in the country, but it’s facing tough competition from Amapiano.
Nonetheless, house and its leading artists, many of whom are making Amapiano anyway, can take solace in the fact that Amapiano, like gqom, could be just another fad that comes and goes. After all, house and kwaito are the progenitors of these sub-genres and constitute the foundations on which newcomers rest.
This year’s top house tracks include 2019 hits like ‘Kobanini’ and ‘Jerusalema’, which were released in November and December. Both tracks feature vocalist Nomcebo, who has cemented her presence on the local house music scene. Big names like Heavy K, Professor, Dr Malinga, Mpumi, Sun-El Musician, DJ Tira, NaakMusiQ, and TNS have also hit the right notes with new releases in 2020.
Below is Music In Africa’s dynamic playlist of the top SA house songs of 2020, in no particular order. The playlist will grow until the end the year, so make sure you bookmark it for your continuous listening pleasure.
Uwrongo by Prince Kaybee, Shimza, Black Motion, and Ami Faku
‘Uwrongo’ is the hitmaking Prince Kaybee’s first single of the year. The song attained gold status in South Africa and reached No 1 on various South African radio stations. It took the first spot for multiple weeks on Radiomonitor’s South Africa Top 100 chart.
Thatha by Heavy K ft. Mbuso Khoza
Heavy K never disappoints. The song was released in late April and is making big waves.
SBCNCSLY by Black Coffee ft. Sabrina Claudio
Black Coffee and American singer Sabrina Claudio’s collaboration is probably one of the classier releases of 2020. Claudio’s multi-layered vocals make for a dreamy composition, while Black Coffee employs various keys (amapiano?) to add melodic complexity to the track.
Tsamaya by Heavy K ft. Professor
Another Heavy K club banger featuring top house artist Professor. This is among the top house collaborations of 2020 and relies on the by now well-known gqom/kwaito signature beat.
Ngikwenzeni by Dr Malinga ft. Mpumi & Villager SA
The song is based on a true story that happened to Dr. Malinga – one that is about betrayed by his friends. It was produced by Limpopo-based producer Villager SA.
Ayabonga by TNS and Skillz ft. Le Soul
What makes the song powerful are the beats and slowed-down aesthetic in the video. The combination between TNS, Skillz and Le Soul is as smooth as a house track can get.
Yasha Imizi by Claudio and Kenza ft. Mpumi and Sun-El Musician
Music duo Claudio and Kenza team up with house favorites Mpumi and Sun-El Musician on this vocally laden composition. This one will give you goosebumps. Cheers!
Everything by Black Motion and Afrotraction ft. Mo-T
House duo Black Motion is the master of the percussive house sound. This song also bears jazz, funk, and R&B influences, which makes it quite unique compared to most of the other house releases this year.
Kobanini by Mobi Dixon ft. Nomcebo and T-Love
The song was released in November 2019, but still finds itself among the top 2020 releases. The presence of Nomcebo, who featured on the well-known ‘Jerusalema’ (also added to this playlist), could be the reason for its success.
Insimbi by Sun-El Musician and Mthunzi
Sun-El’s melodic progressions are arguably the catchiest. They also have certain purity and feeling of nostalgia that cannot but move the listener. This is track is perfectly complemented by Mthunzi’s Zulu lines.
iBhari by TNS ft. Luqua
This track relies mostly on its thumping beat, and is a true lockdown release, dropping in April. It’s sung in Zulu and English.
More and More by Lady Zamar
This is a love song and its video stars Lady Zamar as a bride. ‘More and More’ is the kind of track any house fan could play for their lover when things aren’t going too well.
Ngi Linde Wena by Mo Flava ft. Nomcebo
Mo Flava sought the voice of Nomcebo for this track. The chanteuse seems to be the go-to singer if you want a hit at the moment. This is totally understandable – there are few powerful voices like Nomcebo’s currently on the SA house scene.
Jerusalema by Master KG ft. Nomcebo
Without doubt one of the biggest house tracks of 2019, ‘Jerusalema’ was released in December and is still receiving plenty of airplay. The song was sitting at more than 35 million YouTube views at the beginning of July 2020.
SuperHero by DJ Tira ft. NaakMusiQ and DJ Clock
This song has an old techno flavour and a strong Kwaito feel. What’s better than that for the older house heads? The ‘SuperHero’ music video was shot with DJ Tira and NaakMusiQ’s cellphones.