Five South African electronica and dance artists you should be listening to


The Cape Town Electronic Music Festival, to be held from 10-12 February 2017, showcases the cream of the crop in international and local dance music. Here are five must-see South Africa acts this year.

Cape Town hosts the best in international and South African dance music at the sixth annual Cape Town Electronic Music Festival held from 10-12 February 2017. (Image: Pixabay CC0 Public Domain)

CD Anderson

The Cape Town Electronic Music Festival (CTEMF) is now in its sixth year and has gone from strength to strength as the South African dance music and electronica scenes have evolved over the last two decades.

Held at the Cape Town City Hall from 10-12 February 2017, the festival will feature 64 acts on five stages.

There is also a smaller companion CTEMF Connect JHB Festival to be held at Truth nightclub in Johannesburg over the same dates, with headliners appearing at both events.

Headline performers this year include Ninja Tune Records electronica pioneers Coldcut, legendary turntablist Peanut Butter Wolf and Canadian hip hop producer Ryan Hemsworth. South African acts include house music DJs Jullian Gomes and Jazzuelle, as well as Cape Town hip hop prodigy Youngsta, among many others.

The festival covers an assortment of sub-genres of electronic dance music, including popular favourites house and techno music in all its varieties, as well as experimental, hip hop and chill out.

There will also be a number of music workshops before and during the festival, starting on 7 February, during the Cape Town festival that will bring together some of the performers with burgeoning local talent and fans.

For more information on the festival, visit the CTEMF website.

Some of the local artists performing at the festival

Kid Fonque (DJ)

Kid Fonque has been a South African electronic music stable for more than 20 years, DJing, producing and mentoring new talent across all styles of dance music, from bass and bossa nova to hip hop and house. As well as an in-demand club DJ, the Kid also has a radio show on 5FM and runs his own label, Stay True Sounds. He has performed around the world, presenting South African sounds to clubbers in Asia and Europe.

Listen to his mix of South African electronic music, created exclusively for CTEMF 2017:

Zaki Ibrahim (Singer)

Born in Canada, the daughter of former South African radio broadcaster Zane Ibrahim, Zaki is now based permanently in Cape Town, following an impressive 15-year singing career in Ontario and Toronto that earned her a reputation as a formidable live performer. Her music blends a modern electronica sound with nu-soul, hip hop and world music elements. After self-releasing a number of EPs, Zaki released her first full-length album, Every Opposite, in 2012. She has collaborated with a number of international and local artists, including King Britt, DJ Spinna and Spoek Mathambo.

Watch her perform live in Cape Town:

Moonchild Sanelly (Singer)

Best known for her catchy electro pop radio hit Rabubi in 2014, Sanelly has since been creating a buzz in music circles for her style and talent. Her recent successful European tour and a well-received showcase at the SXSW music festival in Austin, Texas, both in 2016, have set her up for certain global success. She has collaborated with a host of South African artists, including Thandiswa Mazwai and Toya Delazy.

Watch the music video for Rabubi:

STAB Virus (DJs/producers)

Makonwabe Bekwa and Siphe Tebeka are the techno house duo behind the hugely popular club hit The Unknown Song. Dance music legend Laurent Garnier called the song one of his favourite tracks of the year. The duo’s live sets, which move fluidly from traditional techno into more all-embracing, African-influenced fare at some of the country’s biggest music festivals and clubs, are considered legendary.

Listen to The Unknown Song:

Yeti (DJ)

Self-described as a creator of “dark melodic bass-driven songs filled with dynamic drops and clean breaks”, Yeti is a Cape Town techno DJ. He is considered one of South Africa’s most dynamic live DJs, combining cutting-edge skill with a knack for finding the right song for the right moment. His set at the 2016 Rocking The Daisies festival has been lauded as one of the best DJ sets in South Africa over the last 10 years.

Listen to a live set recording by Yeti:

Source: CTEMF website

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