It’s no secret that Africa is blessed with the youngest population on the world. What significance does this have for dance music? Well, think about it, with youthfulness comes creativity and potential.
Certainly, the internet has played a huge role. It has allowed African artists to showcase their work on various platforms on the worldwide web. Looking at dance music, South Africa is leading the pack. Over the last decade, the dance scene in South Africa has experienced tremendous growth and house music and its sub-genres, in particular, have been on the forefront. The success of well-known DJs like Black Coffee has done justice to the growth of the dance scene in South Africa. He recently won an award for ‘Breakthrough DJ of the Year’ at the 2015 DJ Awards hosted in Ibiza, Spain. South Africa also earned herself a special award for ‘Dance Nation of the Year’ on that same night.
Now that the powers that be have certified South Africa as a dance-loving nation, the focus shifts to young and upcoming talents that seek to reaffirm South Africa as one of the world’s leading dance nations. We looked long and hard, far and wide and sifted through the many talents in Mzansi to find six rising players you’ll be hearing more from.
Ta-Ice, real name Isaiah Mapuntshane Serafa, is one of the most hard-working individuals around. Big in Pretoria’s dance scene, he began his musical journey as part of a house music collective, Deep Illusion. He currently owns and runs his own label, Room 38 Music which has seen him become a familiar sight on Traxsource’s Afro House Top 100 chart. So much so that Traxsource listed him at number 12 on their Top 20 Afro House Artists of 2015 so far… alongside artists such as Ralf GUM, Manoo and Boddhi Satva.
Ta-Ice has already been featured in various local and international house music compilations by the likes of House Afrika and DM Recordings. Mostly recently, Ta-Ice was featured on Black Coffee’s MixMag live session. Ta-Ice remains no stranger to the radio airwaves as well. Some of South Africa’s top radio stations, Metro FM and YFM have frequently track-listed his work on their shows. With smooth melodies infused with Afro and tech elements, Ta-Ice is indeed one of the names to look out for in Mzansi’s dance scene.
Check out Ta-Ice’s SoundCloud.
Like many of you, my mind was met with an influx of question marks when I first came across his name but his work speaks volumes. Born and raised in South Africa, He started his musical career in London in the early 2000s as one half of Live Tech Rebelz. He cites the likes of Brenda Fassie and Marvin Gaye as some of the influences that gave birth to his love for music.
His love for house and techno music, though, was a result of listening to Masters at Work, Kerri Chandler and Dennis Ferrer. Fløyd had plenty of time to discover and explore the underground tech scene during his six-year stay in the UK, while studying music in London. His talent was soon realised when he got the chance to perform at Glastonbury and the Get Loaded in the Park festival. Since then, Fløyd has showcased his skills at many events and festivals in Europe including Wanderlust in Paris and WaterGate in Berlin. Beyond DJing, Fløyd is an amazing producer. He’s done stuff for Murmur Records, Dogmatik and Lower East (all from London) and Upon You Records (Berlin). Fløyd, currently based in Cape Town, remains focused on growing his co-owned imprint, Nomadiq Music.
Nomadiq Music is known as one of Cape Town’s leading labels and musical platforms. Despite his international exploits, Floyd Lavine is heavily involved in Cape Town’s dance scene.
Check out Fløyd Lavine’s SoundCloud.
Avid listeners of soulful and Afro-house music often mention his name in conversations as one of the best producer/DJs in South Africa. Lesego Sefako, better known as Sir LSG, started his journey as far back as 2006. When he was a electrical engineering student at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, he began collecting records.
It was only a matter of time till he started thrilling fellow students at parties around campus. The Mafikeng-born producer/DJ took the next step in his journey when he co-founded Hood Natives alongside three other Soweto-based DJs in 2007. His claim to fame came around 2011 when German producer, Ralf GUM released Hood Native’s Sax In The City on GOGO Music.
The release became an instant favourite on the dance floor. Since then, Sir LSG has done remixes for the likes of The Muffinz, Andy Compton, UPZ aka Avi Elman and Nathan Adams to name but a few. His remix for Nathan Adam’s Stay Away remains one of my personal favourites. To my knowledge, he’s currently signed to Ralf GUM’s GOGO Music and releases such as All I Am a collaborative effort with Brian Temba and Kafele, epitomise the kind of talent this man has. Having been voted number 20 on Traxsource’s Top 100 Afro House producers of 2014, house music patrons are eagerly waiting for Lesego’s debut album. Until then, keep your eyes and ears on the ground.
Check out Sir LSG’s SoundCloud.
IDM Mag recently referred to him as ‘South African House Music’s best kept secret’ but it’s safe to say that the secret is out. If he isn’t exciting the masses in Cape Town’s deep house establishments, you will often see his name on event posters around Johannesburg and Pretoria. From playing at Glastonbury 2015 and at the Sonar Festival 2015 in Barcelona to being officially signed to German label, Get Physical Music, 2015 has been a monumental year for the young rising star.
As a producer, Jazzuelle has worked with a long list of well-known local and international deep house acts and labels such as Get Physical, Lazy Days Recordings, Foliage Records, Atjazz Record Company, Phat Elephant Recordings, Do It Now Recordings, DeepStitched… the list goes on and on. But what is it, really, that makes Jazzuelle’s music stand out? Well, no one word can describe his music. His signature sound is well pervaded with cosmic and galactic elements that takes one’s mind into a melodious trance. Don’t believe me? Just try this one for size.
What next for Jazzuelle? Well rumour has it he’s working on his debut album which is set to be released under Get Physical Music and yes – we can’t wait for it!
Check out Jazzuelle’s SoundCloud.
It all started in the early years of his life when his father bought him his first digital piano. Little did they know that Chuene Marakalala, better known as John Lundun within music circles, would develop a compulsion for playing those smooth piano keys. John Lundun grew up in South Africa’s Limpopo Province in Polokwane. Upon moving to Pretoria to study jazz and popular music at the Tshwane University of Technology, he began building a studio for himself and started producing soulful and jazz-infused house music. John Lundun is currently signed to Collen Mmotla’s Chymamusiq Records. He has worked extensively with Metro FM award-winning producer and DJ Chymamusique.
Beyond this, Lundun has also worked with Italian house-music group, Dolls Combers.
Most recently, his work has been compiled by the likes of legendary DJ Kanunu on his latest compilation album, Soul Meditation 2. Soul Candi Records has also been a keen compiler of his music on their various album including the Selektor Series. Though he is not the most established of acts, after listening to his music, you will certainly agree that his talent commands attention.
Check out John Lundun’s SoundCloud.
Distant Relatives JHB is a production duo consisting of Ricky Rodrigues and Micheal Carstens, based in Johannesburg and dedicated to the art of deep house and dub techno. Having released their first project in early 2014, their still relatively new to the dance scene. Since then, however, Distant Relatives JHB have released a string of dope dance bangers under Something Different Records, DeepWit Recordings, Ready Mix Records, Just Move Records and Viva Recordings. They already received rave reviews and support from industry heavyweights such as Laurent Garnier, Vinny Da Vinci, DJ Christos, Mark Farina and 2lani The Warrior.
Johannesburg’s deep house scene is well known for its rooftop parties and poolside hangouts and Distant Relatives JHB are regulars on the scene. They recently started deejaying around Joburg City’s finest underground clubs and various deep house music establishments. They describe their sound as atmospheric, deep and smooth with strong underlying grooves. Have a listen to their Soundcloud page and you’ll know what they’re talking about
Check out Distant Relatives’ SoundCloud.
There you have it, six names to look out for in South Africa’s dance scene. Don’t get it twisted though, these are by no means the only rising players in Mzansi’s clubs. Notable mentions should also go to the likes of Da Capo, Cubique DJ, The Antidotes (yep, I’m one of them), Secret Souls, Punk Mbedzi, Gruv Basement, Brewed Souls, Troy and Vandal M, to name a few. The conclusion is, South Africa and Africa as a whole is blessed with enormous talent. Our culture embraces music and dancing and these are the guys who are definitely helping out with that.