Top 10 Music Artists in South Africa 2024

Top 10 Music Artists in South Africa 2024

Top 10 Musicians in South Africa 2024

Top Musicians in South Africa 2024

Mention Mzansi and flashy lifestyles; fashion, showbiz, and music come to mind. The dynamic music scene fosters fierce competition as artists constantly reinvent their sound to stay atop the ever-changing landscape. From Die Antwoord to Mafikizolo, the musical frenzy in South Africa is wilder than one can imagine.

The 2024 Top 10 list features artists like the late Costa Titch and AKA, who, despite their untimely passing, still boast devoted fanbases. Our analysis identified and ranked South Africa’s most popular artists this year, spotlighting a rapidly shifting industry.

Some stalwart stars have been unseated by up-and-coming talents whose 2024 breakouts catapulted them into the elite top 10. The only constant is change, so expect vigorous competition as new and established artists battle to capture the nation’s ears. With artists innovating to stay relevant, the music scene promises to remain in flux. The following are the musicians leading the wave and shaping the South African music industry in 2024:

1. Die Antwoord

Unlike most South African artists who stick to Afro-pop or Amapiano, Die Antwoord has forged its unique path. Comprised of rappers Ninja and Yolandi Visser plus producers HITEK5000 and Lil2Hood, the alternative hip-hop group formed in Cape Town in 2008.

Renowned for their singular style, Die Antwoord proves you can be different and still come out on top. Their worldwide fandom reflects their universal appeal. Die Antwoord has garnered major international acclaim, consistently charting high across Europe, North America, and Australia.

By December 2023, their breakout hit “Baby’s on Fire” surpassed 270 million YouTube views, affirming their status as one of South Africa’s most esteemed acts.

Though controversial, their music speaks volumes and has propelled them to the #1 spot among South Africa’s top artists for 2024. Resisting conformity to Afro-pop and Amapiano norms, Die Antwoord demonstrates thinking outside the box can bring global fame. Their originality has struck a chord worldwide.

2. Master KG

Like “Despacito,” “Jerusalema” was the global anthem of 2020 – if you were alive, you had to hear it. Master KG coined one of the best songs of the millennium. With viral challenges fueling its rise, the smash hit also cemented Master KG as a most sought-after African artist.

Even in 2024, he holds strong at #2 among South Africa’s top music artists. “Jerusalema,” featuring Nomcebo Zikode and Burna Boy, earned a diamond certification from FRA and topped Billboard’s World Digital Song Sales chart.

By December 2023, the single had amassed over 587 million views, affirming its immense popularity. Master KG is a talent to be reckoned with. “Jerusalema” transcended countries and cultures, its infectious joy inspiring countless dance challenges.

The song’s unprecedented success proves Master KG’s superstar status. Though released in 2020, “Jerusalema” remains iconic, still keeping Master KG near the apex of South Africa’s music scene four years later.

3. Costa Titch

Born to a Greek father and South African mother, who could have predicted Costa Titch would dominate South African airwaves? Before his untimely passing in March 2023, Titch crafted iconic hits and broke stereotypes as a choreographer, proving white guys can dance.

If alive today, he may well be South Africa’s biggest artist. His breakthrough “Big Flexa” propelled him into the upper echelon. By December 2023 it had amassed over 82 million views. Despite his tragic 2023 death, Titch holds strong at #3 among 2024’s top artists, reflecting his dedicated fanbase.

With steady gains each year, he could posthumously claim the top spot in 2025. Titch surpassed expectations for a biracial South African artist. Songs like “Big Flexa” reveal his widespread appeal and talent.

Though his story ended abruptly, Titch’s enduring popularity proves his music transcends his death. He cracked barriers few imagined he could. The legacy of this barrier-breaking artist remains as powerful in death as it did in life.

4. Makhadzi

As the lone female solo artist in South Africa’s male-dominated top 10 for 2024, Makhadzi proves both talent and tenacity prevail. She started performing at 13 in taxi ranks for patron donations.

Steadily rising since, she’s become one of South Africa’s most sought-after women artists, ranking 4th here. Greatness exudes through hits like “Ghanama,” which has over 24 million YouTube views.

This smash illustrates Makhadzi’s sustained relevance and enduring popularity in South Africa’s music landscape.

Despite early humble beginnings, her perseverance fueled Makhadzi’s ascent. Her presence in the 2024 top 10 signifies change, as female artists gain ground in the accelerating fight for equity.

Though lone for now, Makhadzi has cracked glass ceilings through resilience. Her anthemic music empowers women’s voices. Makhadzi’s triumph propels progress.

5. DJ Maphorisa

DJ, producer, singer, songwriter – Maphorisa does it all. His talent is undeniable, as the man behind major hits like Uhuru’s “Y-Tjukuta,” Kwesta’s “Ngud’,” Busiswa’s “Lahla,” and more.

With smash singles like “Izolo” racking up over 27 million views, Maphorisa has cemented his reputation as a leading industry player. Today he ranks 5th, but his versatility could propel him to the top in 2025.

Maphorisa is the secret weapon behind many stars, his production gifting their songs’ crossover appeal. This multi-hyphenate has the chops to dominate any lane.

Wherever Maphorisa goes next, his imprint on the industry is indelible. He has shaped the sound of South African music.

6. Prince Kaybee

Being a DJ in South Africa can pave the way to top-10 success, as Prince Kaybee proves. His musical mastery has produced some of the country’s biggest hits, earning widespread praise for captivating shows, infectious tracks, and top-notch DJ skills.

Smashes like “Yonkinto,” “Friend Zone,” and “Wajellwa” highlight his in-demand status. The hit “Banomoya” has over 31 million views, bolstering Kaybee’s popularity. Though not just a DJ, Kaybee leverages those talents for the spotlight.

His enduring acclaim stems from production values meeting entertainer charisma. Kaybee’s versatile artistry shows being a DJ can be a path to the top.

7. Blaq Diamond

School trips can ignite destined musical unions, as with Blaq Diamond. The duo first met freestyling on a bus ride, forging a bond through school functions and earning local praise. Seeking greater prospects, they moved to Johannesburg – and the rest is history.

As just the second group in the top 10, their ascent is remarkable. Momentum continues through chart-topping drops like “SummerYoMuthi,” which has over 24 million YouTube views. Their unwavering success spotlights chemistry first kindled on a school trip.

Blaq Diamond proves collaborations can arise anywhere, with enough dedication. From bus ciphers to the big-time, their friendship fuels the music. Blaq Diamond shows partnerships powered by passion can climb to the top.

8. Mafikizolo

I’ve loved Mafikizolo forever – their enduring, soulful artistry never gets old. Formed in 1997 as a Kwaito trio of late member Tebogo Madingoane, Theo Kgosinkwe, and Nhlanhla Nciza, their hiatus compilation “The Best of” hinted at more to come.

Resuming in 2013, they released the smash “Khona” featuring Uhuru. Masters of Afro-pop, kwaito, house, and Afro-soul, their versatility is remarkable. As the third group and oldest duo in the top 10 for 2024, their longevity is unmatched.

Currently 8th among South Africa’s most popular musicians, classics like “Love Potion” – boasting over 38 million YouTube views by December 2023 – exhibit their lasting power. Mafikizolo’s soulful sound endures across decades and genres.

Their evolution from 90s kwaito to today’s varied hits proves a timeless gift for reinvention. Still innovating years later, Mafikizolo represents resilience and the rewards it reaps.

9. Nasty C

From Soweto roots to mixtapes at 14, Nasty C’s rise is impressive. Unlike most clinging to South Africa’s dominant Amapiano sound, he’s carved a lane through hip hop. This maverick stance has yielded chart-topping hits and global fandom.

Despite eschewing trends, Nasty C inked a career-defining Def Jam deal in March 2020. His US debut single “There They Go” expanded his worldwide fan base, affirming his global appeal. Blockbusters like “SMA (Vol 1)” with over 40 million YouTube views solidify Nasty C’s popularity.

Nasty C proves thinking outside the box breeds success. Resisting creative conformity, he’s galvanized worldwide support through a unique hip-hop lens. Mainstream sounds come and go, but Nasty C’s conviction in his vision has fostered an irrefutable brand.

Authenticity doesn’t hinder acclaim, it fuels it. By embracing his art on his terms, Nasty C wins on his creative playing field. His rise shows believing in one’s lane can propel artists farthest.

10. AKA

The adage “you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone” rings true for AKA. Mere months after his tragic death by gun violence, Kiernan Jarryd Forbes has emerged in the 2024 top 10 South African artists.

His posthumous album Mass Country confirms the frenzy was warranted. AKA initially broke through with 2011’s “Victory Lap,” becoming a superstar for his hip-hop rarity in South Africa. Despite not conforming to dominant Amapiano, AKA’s hip-hop helped pave the way for artists like Nasty C and Emtee.

Though gone too soon in the February 2023 shooting, AKA’s legacy persists through devoted fans and timeless hits. “Fela in Versace” has amassed 14 million YouTube views as of December 2023, exemplifying his continued resonance.

Not even death could diminish AKA’s impact. If anything, his shocking murder compounded his mythical status. AKA remained dedicated to hip-hop in a sea of Amapiano, a conviction magnifying his posthumous acclaim.

Rather than follow trends, AKA followed his artistry. In death as in life, he represents creative integrity over chasing formulas. AKA’s enduring popularity proves authenticity never loses relevance.

That concludes our countdown of the top 10 music artists ruling the charts in South Africa for 2024. From beloved veterans to rising stars, these talented musicians represent the best the country has to offer.

View the full report featuring 50 artists here.

To find out more about how this report was compiled or to get in touch, please contact us.

Thank you for joining us on this musical journey across South Africa!

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