We all know about cities like Berlin, London, and Chicago or countries like the UK and Netherlands, as being originators, centers or, dare I say, meccas, of electronic music, but over the last few years a new player has emerged on the global scale.
Refreshingly, this country is not located in Europe or North America, but rather Earth’s second largest, and fastest developing continent: South Africa. With artists like Black Coffee, Euphonik and Culoe De Song taking the global dance scene by storm (an no stranger’s here in Amsterdam), South Africa has firmly situated itself in the conversation of talent incubator and, in my opinion, not a moment too soon. In fact, in 2015, South Africa’s talent show “South Africa’s Got Talent”, 3 year old DJ Archer Jnr managed to capture the top spot, with his mixing skills.
But, how did South Africa get to this place? CNN has given its readers a quick overview of South Africa’s musical history, and its relationship with the rise of dance music. Unsurprisingly, greatly attributed to Lebo Mathosa, one of the few successful Kwaito (a genre who attributes the Chicago house stylings of Frankie Knuckles as a major influence) vocalists, but it is the rich history outside of electronic music, which also plays a huge role in South Africa becoming (per capita) house music’s biggest market.
From the jazz stylings of Hugh Masekela, who himself collaborated with Black Coffee on the latter’s 2010 LP “Home Brewed”, through to the International phenomenon on vocal group Ladysmith Black Mambazo, South Africa’s musical history also includes the aforementioned Kwaito, as well as (perhaps, the world’s most identifiable of these genres) Afropop, where the inlfunece of “Madonna of the Townships, Brenda Fassie.
With techno in Johanessburg, Psy-Trance in Cape Town, and (Kwaito offshoot) qgom in Durban, alongside the inclusion of the Ultra Music Festival, South Africa is poised to continue its place in the International conversation for quite some time.