What you'll be listening to in 2020

A popular poet: Rouge's single with Emtee, Popular, is sitting at 111 000 views and the video is quite a vibe.
A popular poet: Rouge's single with Emtee, Popular, is sitting at 111 000 views and the video is quite a vibe. pictures:supplied

Last year we were treated to some well-rounded music across genres despite some of our favourite artists not having released any full projects. Phumlani S Langa gives us a list of albums to look out for.

#Trending reached out to some of the major record labels to get an idea of the music we can expect in the months to come. Based on the projected line-ups from each stable, we are all in for a memorable year, with more than a few audio gems headed our way.


Sony has one of the larger rosters, with acts such as DJ Maphorisa, DJ Sliqe and even the Distruction Boyz. From a production standpoint they’re packing heat, but what can we hope for?


Rose golden: Her second album could very well be better than her first which was a classic. pictures:supplied

Album title: To be announced

Release date: From June

We’re particularly excited for the most streamed artist in the country to unleash her sophomore album.

Her debut, Rose Gold, gave us timeless pop hits. Shekhinah has great potential to fly the flag high abroad as she’s already the favourite opening act for countless international artists at their South African shows.


Album title: Love and Other Stuff

Release date: March

Her debut offering, The New Era Sessions, performed better than anyone expected and even saw this eccentric wordsmith win an SA Film and Television Award for the accompanying short film with the same name. The single Popular was released late last year and the video trended for a while on Twitter. It features Emtee and is very much a party song. Luckily this rapper is capable of stretching her art in whichever direction she chooses.


Album title: To be announced

Release date: To be announced

Mlindo has been able to cultivate a sound with a bit of a groove feel, which always helps when dealing with not-so-easy-to-please local tastes.

His debut album, Emakhaya, was littered with marquee guest appearances from Kwesta, Thabsie and the wispy-voiced singer Sha Sha. True to its name, Emakhaya rings out like rhythmical genuflection to his home and heritage.


This is Durban’s temple of dance and the company that could be considered the cornerstone of the new local street sound.


21 Years and counting: DJ Tira will be dropping a collaborative album to celebrate what has been an illustrious career. pictures:supplied

Album title: 21 Years of DJ Tira

Release date: July

The Afrotainment head honcho, who reinterpreted kwaito, giving it a Durban flavour and later sparking the nationwide sensation that is gqom music, has been making us move for two decades and he’ll be looking to commemorate the milestone.

He tells #Trending to expect a lot of features from people he has worked with over the years and a few who he has always admired but never had in studio.


Twin-powered vocals: Vele Idols is a waste. The Qwabe twins are out for that Afrotainment bag. pictures:supplied

Album tittle: To be announced

Release date: May

After their dramatic exit from Idols SA last year, the twins were quickly snapped up by the always vigilant DJ Tira and locked into a contract at Afrotainment. Their album is still very much in the developmental phase, but it will see the light of day this year and we’re under the impression that it will make quite the impact. After all, it’s infinitely better to lose on Idols than to win.


With arguably the highest international features in the past two years, and a sound cemented in the hood, RapLyf’s reign could very well begin this year.


Album title: Dakar III

Release date: April

A takeover would make no sense if the leading man himself wasn’t planning on dropping an album, which Kwesta told City Press last year is already complete.

Who knows what tricks this guy has up his sleeve, what samples he’ll deploy and who he’ll work with?

All we know is that it will be fire.


Album title: Amazing

Release date: March/April

This duo will use their album to step out from behind the shadow of their successful mentor, Kwesta, and prove their prowess on a beat or two. TLT have quite the name to live up to. They have tested the waters with a few singles, with the video for Mbube (2019) sitting at more than 1 million views.


One of the more decorated labels has attracted a large amount of local talent, including popular imprints such as Family Tree Records and Beam Music.


No room for distractions: We hope AKA won't let his recent break up with DJ Zinhle impact his performance. We'd rather it fuels his efforts, yielding something better than Touch My Blood. pictures:supplied

Album title: To be announced

Release date: To be announced

The occasionally petulant prince of local rap released a pop album called Touch My Blood in 2018. It performed well, providing a few jiggy joints. As far as rap goes, Magriza was about all we got from Touch My Blood.

All I want from AKA is a return to rap. That understated arrogance he adopts on the mic and firm command of language make him a local heavyweight. Think double disc bro.


Is Nasty the king he claims to be? He has the hearts and ears of the teens, and the attention of the older heads. The balancing act will prove difficult. pictures:supplied

Album title: To be announced

Expected release date: To be announced

Since 2015, it has been one-way traffic for this rapper from Durban. He is arguably a top-three local export and the appeal in his music has seen him work with the likes of American production savant No I.D., along with an A$AP Ferg feature and accompanying video.

Perhaps I expect a lot from him, as beats that use the pale-sounding Kumbaya hymn just don’t cut it. But Nasty C remains a threat on the microphone and we will be waiting eagerly for this release.


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