Summer to hit the right note

02 September 2013 - 02:50 By ANDILE NDLOVU

The busiest and most lucrative period for the local music industry is fast approaching and record labels are scurrying to get their high-profile releases ready for the summer.

Among the albums released last summer were Idols winner Khaya Mthethwa's debut album For You , Toya Delazy's Due Drop , Kabomo's Memory Remains and Professor's Orientation .

Between September and December of 2010, over 1.1million local albums were bought and just over 1million during the corresponding period in 2011 and 2012.

For the past three years, the other eight months of the year have produced sales of only between 530000 and 550000 albums .

Karl Anderson, owner of label Just Music, said: "As an independent label, we don't have the pressures of releasing our artists' albums to fit in with a financial year-end or keeping shareholders happy. We release our artists' albums when the music is 100% right and ready for the world to hear it, irrespective of the time of the year.

"Traditionally, the Christmas period is busy for the music industry and there is usually a spike in sales because many people get music as a gift."

With this in mind, The Times has compiled a list of the most keenly awaited albums slated for imminent release.

The list is not limited to albums with confirmed release dates and titles, but all should arrive before New Year's Eve.

  • ZAKES BANTWINI

It's been three years since the Durbanite released his critically acclaimed debut Love, Light and Music , which spawned a slew of hits including Wasting My Time , Bum Bum , Clap Your Hands and Juju . He's taken his sweet time, so can we expect ear candy?

  • AKA

The local hip-hop industry's most polarising figure is trying to top the success of his 2011 debut Altar Ego. The lead single Victory Lap was a smash hit.

The two-times SA Music Awards winner showed he has a knack for picking the right songs - the catchy Jealousy was named best hit single at this year's Metro FM Awards. The new album is called Levels and will be released in October.

  • AFRO'TRACTION

Here's one guy (along with Kabomo) who's making us believe in the local neo-soul genre.

Five years ago, nobody had heard of the man from Nelspruit (real name Wandile Moya) but thanks to songs like Ngimtholile and Ngeke K'lunge the clean-cut man who sings R&B SeSwati-style has gained a large and dedicated following.

His as-yet-untitled album is due next month according to his label, Electromode.

  • ZAHARA

It's been two years since her debut, Loliwe, broke industry records and reached double platinum thanks to the smash hit title track, Umthwalo, and Destiny and Ndize. She won eight Samas.

  • TROMPIES and ALASKA

This is no joke - Kalawa Jazmee is preparing two comebacks that will either fall flat or surprise us.

Trompies - made up of Mahoota, Jakarumba, Eugene Mthethwa and Spikiri - unexpectedly showed up at this year's Samas pre-party in Sun City, where they performed all their old hits. Mthethwa has already promised the band's return will be "bigger than people are expecting".

Alaska celebrated its 17th anniversary in June but little was said about a new album until now.

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