South Africa is well known for its dance & music culture and theatre. South African music culture is a rare combination of folk and modern types.
South African music culture is one of the oldest and best music cultures of the world. South Africa is not only popular for its music culture but also for its dance and theatre. South Africa is the land of culture where every bit of activity has its roots in the music & dance of the country.
Though the music culture along with dance & theatre are nourished under the common people of this country but still there is a department of Music Culture of South Africa that undertakes to guard and develop the country’s cultural, music and linguistic heritage.
South African music has a very unique combination of local and modern music. The modern music influence has been from the neighboring western countries. Since colonization the South Africans have been adopting the western music instruments and their style & type. They were always inspired by western kwela, jazz, blues, gospel, rock, pop, reggae, rap, kwaito and many more of such nature.
Kwela – Amalgamation of folk & modern music
Many pop &rock bands are making their name on the international front. Traditional music like kwela, which belongs to forties or fifties, has been remixed in its modern version. Musicians and technocrats are creating their own version of modern music from the old folk music. Thus the modern music makes you dance and enjoy to its tune.
Music is life for south Africans
South African life is totally governed by the music. Every factor of life has a reflection of music on itself. When you listen the South African music you get a glimpse of its rich and colorful history. This history saw the mixture of African, American and European music and their evolution over this interval of time while they continue to provide the entertainment to the generation over the decades.
International music bands & artists
- While old favorites like Ladysmith Black Mambazo remain one of the world’s most popular vocal groups and the likes of Hugh Masekela and Abdullah Ibrahim still charm, there is an exciting new number of South African musicians which have emerged over the last decade.
- This group includes singer Simphiwe Dana, whose success has seen her hailed as the new Miriam Makeba, together with her unique mixture of jazz, pop, and traditional music.
- Another young star is Thandiswa Mazwai, originally a kwaito singer with Bongo Maffin who combines local hip-hop rhythms with traditional Xhosa sounds, creating something brand-new.
- Artist Verity continues to be recognized internationally for innovation in the music industry and bands like BLK JKS and Die Antwoord are bringing South African culture to the forefront of musical development and receiving global recognition.
- Other popular contemporary South African music includes the likes of Freshly Ground, the Parlotones, LocnVille and Zebra and Giraffe, in addition to singers for example Karen Zoid and Jack Parrow. Their sounds vary from laid-back pop to Afrikaans rock and roll and even rap.
- Kwaito is another uniquely South African music, though typically in a slower tempo, characterised by melodic and strong beat African sounds, deep-toned strokes and vocals which are chanted or shouted, usually by a male singer.
- One of the oldest music festivals is the Cape Town Jazz Festival, held in Cape Town annually in early April. It features the cream of South African jazz musicians in addition to a number of international acts.
- There are a variety of Woodstock-like music festivals mainly frequented by the younger generation which include South African pop and rock outfits. Two of the best are the OppieKoppie Festival, which started its life being an Africans rock festival however features a varied mixture of music. It’s held in a venue in Northwest province, not so far from Sun City.
- Splashy Fen started like a folk music festival almost two decades ago. It’s held every year in May in the rolling foothills of the Drakensberg, near the capital of Scotland – Underberg.. While it has been rock-orientated in recent years, it’s still a great place to hear South African folk music.