BEST OF 2012: The sounds of seduction
THE local music industry has been growing in popularity, thanks to many artists giving us good grooves. Here are some of those who stood out this year.
THE POP PRINCESS
While 2011 was Zahara's year, 2012 belonged to Toya Delazy. Sure, her pedigree drew attention (her grandfather is IFP leader chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi), but it was her infectious tunes that made her a breakout star. The video of her mega-hit single Pump It On has been viewed close to 175000 times on YouTube, while her Due Drop album has been a top seller. Plus she's cool, what with the hair and quirky dress sense. Yes, Miss Buthelezi has her detractors, but even they can't deny that she's been huge this year.
THE THREE KINGS
Mi Casa were on everyone's lips. The trio topped charts, sold truckloads of albums and won awards. Their self-titled album produced hits like These Streets, Heavenly Sent and La Vida. They're cool enough for the cool kids and cute enough for your mom to like them. And who could forget that killer South African Music Awards performance?
HATERS BE WARNED
One of South African music's most popular (and probably most disliked) artists, AKA, addressed his critics by producing another mega hit. Jealousy didn't mince words, with the rapper telling his haters to, in Nonhle Thema's words, sit down. But this was a big year for hip-hop, and while Jealousy was the most fun track, Khuli Chana's Tswa Daar was the slickest. The song has old-school rap vibes and cemented Chana's place as one of SA hip-hop's best. Also getting a lot of props were Reason and Zakwe.
After a five-year hiatus, one of the most innovative bands, Lark, returned with their second album, Gong Is Struck, and it was like they had never left. The sound was dark and sexy, not a rehash of what they had done before but Lark taken to another level.
Nigerian megastar D'Banj gave us one of the year's biggest hits, the infectious and cheeky Oliver Twist. Sure, he's not South African, but he's from the continent. Even D'Banj's spat with former business and music partner Don Jazzy didn't dampen the year for him: he got signed to Kanye West's G.O.O.D. Music label and had a UK top 10 hit with Oliver Twist, which has been viewed close to 13million times on YouTube.
GHOST IN THE MACHINE
Spoek Mathambo had a busy year - he released his first album on Sub Pop, Father Creeper , collaborated with London musos LV on the Sebenza album (featuring Okmalumkoolkat and Ruffest) and released a mix tape that you should play all summer. Future Sound of Mzansi features artists ranging from Robyn and Gnucci to BFG and Diplo. If the title rings true, Mzansi's future sound is dirty, sexy and deliciously unhinged.
One of the best albums was Zaki Ibrahim's Every Opposite - effortlessly blending soul with pop and electro. If you haven't listened to this album yet, get it.
Many artists flocked to our shores. The biggest was Lady Gaga, who filled up two stadiums, giving killer performances enjoyed both by her Little Monsters and those who were there because of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). Others included Tori Amos, The Eagles, Jesse Boykins III, Linkin Park and Chris Brown. Justin Bieber broke records: his shows scheduled for next year sold out in hours.
NEXT IN LINE
We expect the collective The Brother Moves On to be huge. Keep an eye (and ear) out for them.
The hits we loved but got sick of very quickly were: Gangnam Style by PSY, Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepson, Somebody I Used to Know by Gotye featuring Kimbra.
BEST OF INTERNATIONAL
We loved these international artists this year: Lana Del Rey, Kendrick Lamar, Jessie Ware, Frank Ocean, Azealia Banks.