In Part 2 we observe the evolution of Kwaito bringing flavours of R&B, Hip Hop and Deep House. Vocal arrangements and music production utilising western techniques and technologies, offered a sense of familiarity to a broader audience, helping Kwaito light up the music scene across the airwaves, night clubs and transcending our borders to the international stage.
11. Boom Shaka – It’s About Time
Label: Kalwa Jazmee (1993)
The magic behind Kalawa Jazmee as the name suggests was created by one of South Africa’s many talented Jazz musicians, Don Laka. His experimentation with production was successfully demonstrated with Boom Shaka consisting of Junior Sokhela, Lebo Mathosa, Theo Nhlengethwa and Thembi Seete. A band led by girl power in an otherwise male dominated industry complimented by sounds of Raga to give it the edge Kwaito needed to break into the international scene. Performing in cities like London was a clear sign of success which gave Boom Shaka and Kwaito music the recognition and reputation it so deserved.
12. BOP – Traffic Cop
Label: Kalawa Jazz (1994)
Brothers Of Peace was created in 1993 as a small project between Don Laka, Oscar “Wa Rona” Mdlongwa and Christos. In 1994, the band changed members, leaving Mdlongwa but adding Bruce “Dope” Sebitlo, an excellent studio producer in South Africa. The duo began recording and soon released a debut album called Traffic Cop, which sold 50,000 copies.
13. Jacknife – Fester
Label: Universal (1995)
The voice of Thandiswa is unquestionably the standout feature of this track complimented the bouncy bubblegum beat we know sow well. The trio formed with Kimon Webster and Themba Smuts also produced the track Chommie with its catchy phrase, both becoming club hits within South Africa.
14. Arthur Mafokate – Oyi Oyi
Label: 999 (1997)
Winning countless awards and voted song of the year in 1998 at the South African Music awards. The King of Kwaito seen the genre evolve and proved his reliance, and musicality as an artist by gaining success with this production at the peak of a booming music industry and unquestionably immortalising his reputation in the Kwaito hall of fame!
15. Abashante – Senzanje
Label: 999 (1997)
Another group produced and engineered by the ‘King of Kwaito’ Arthur. Similar to Boom Shaka, the combination of Queenie, Nestum and Aba with his raga vocals gave Kwaito a unique dynamic through engaging lyrics and sensational dance performances which sold out live gigs both in clubs and larger outdoor arenas.
16. Spokes H – Peace Magents
Label: Galo (1997)
Born Letona Spokes Hlatshwayo, he became a household name in the 1980s with hit songs such as Tamatisous and carried on the winning streak into the 1990s with anthems like Rabaki and Peace Magents. Spokes H is remembered for his irreverent, fun and comical lyrics.
17. Nina Brothers – Get Down
Label: Sony Music (1999)
A true family affair create by another one of Kwaito’s architects, Joe Nina. Producing for mega artists like Brenda Fassie, it was no doubt that the formation of Nina Brothers with his brothers Vusi, Jeff and Thabo was bound to produce a hit like Get Down which stayed true to the bubblegum beats, traditional raps and kept us grounded during the evolution of kwaito music.
18. Mandoza – Nkalakatha
Label: CCP (2000)
We have recognised moments in the history of our country where all races of our rainbow nations came together as one and the sound of ‘Nkalakatha‘ on the radio’s was one of them. Blasting on Radio 5, Metro 5 and every station across the country, Mandoza had the entire nation on their feet. The genius and creator of the magic behind this track was Gabi Le Roux who produced and engineered this album to perfection.
19. Zola – Mdlwembe
Label: Ghetto Ruff (2000)
Named after the notorious town in which he grew up in, Zola seen and lived the hardships of Soweto. His hard exterior and robust imagine was a far cry from the hardworking, dedicated and sincere guy he really was. Produced and engineered by one of Kwaito’s unsung hero’s out of Cube Studio’s, Kabelo Caebie Ikaneng paired with Zola to produce an album which featured tracks on the hit TV series Yizo Yizo.
20. Mapaputsi – Izinja
Label: Ghetto Ruff (2001)
Another big hitter out of the Ghetto Ruff stable, now called Muthaland Entertainment. Having worked with many influential artists in collaboration, its was the release of this album Izinja which seen him rapidly rise to fame and win Best Kwaito Artist and Best Kwaito Song accolades.
Adrenaline pumping, hearts racing, feet stomping and our minds floating away, reminiscing of the time Kwaito flowed through our veins like the Nile through Africa… unable to stop here, we break protocol and give you 2 noteworthy bonus tracks to complete your journey.
Thebe – Ungawa Kum
Label: Universal (1998)
Mashoza – Kortes (Kasi Luv)
Label: Kalawa Jazmee (1999)