The Song of the Year according to South Africans

DJ Zinhle's ‘Umlilo’ went platinum within three months of release.
DJ Zinhle's ‘Umlilo’ went platinum within three months of release.

In the music scene, the ‘song of the year’ is so named because it’s thought to be the unofficial anthem of the year. It’s played at parties all around the country as the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve, and rings in a new era as it waves goodbye to the one that came before.  The song choice is often hotly-contested, sparking fierce debate among local music lovers who want their favourite artists to come out on top.

This year, JOOX - a popular music streaming platform - gave their listeners the power to decide the top track for themselves with a user vote-generated playlist. The winner? None other than the compelling ‘Umlilo’ by DJ Zinhle! DJ Zinhle had this to say about the win.

‘Umlilo’ went platinum within three months of release, and was a clear winner among JOOX listeners. In an interesting turn of events, the song’s vocalist, Rethabile Khumalo, is the daughter of famed singer, Winnie Khumalo.

Winnie has had a long career in music, forming ‘Pure Magic’ with Rebecca Malope and Mercy Pakela in the late 80s. She later went on to sing back-up for the legendary Brenda Fassie and had her own solo national hit, ‘Just Wanna Live My Life’, in 2009.

‘Rethabile having her own hit in 2019, ten years later, really goes to show the strong legacy of

the Khumalo vocalists, while the song itself reinforces DJ Zinhle's dominance within the house music and DJ scene,’ says JOOX Head of Content, Felicity Mdhluli.

In second place is another big local hit, Samthing Soweto’s ‘Alakuleki.’ ShaSha, DJ Maphorisa and Kabza de Small also make appearances on the track - artists who’ve all had a massively successful year in their own right. So much so that DJ Maphorisa and Kabza de Small’s albums, ‘Scorpion Kings’ and ‘The Return of the Scorpion Kings’, have many tracks appearing on the user-generated playlist’s other top spots.

Wherever you’ll be this New Year’s Eve, make sure to ring in your 2020 with local pride, ‘Umlilo’-style.Listen to the 2019 JOOX Users’ Choice playlist here.

Don’t have JOOX yet? Download it now on Google Play or the App Store. Get your first three months of JOOX VIP for free when you tap on the sign-up banner in-app.

This post and content is sponsored, written and provided by JOOX.