Besides Jimmy Nevis, Isaac Mutant (Dookoom), HemelBessem, Youngsta, Patty Monroe, and a few others, not many coloured artists are known nationally. But this doesn’t mean there aren’t any great coloured artists. Here are a few that you should stop sleeping on.
Athlone-based RnB singer, Shafieka is on the rise. This diamond in the rough won last year’s Star Struck voice competition, an annual Cape Town talent search. This came with a R300 000 prize and Shafieka being the face of up-and-coming Cape Town clothing label Linguistically Cultured. Shafieka’s voice sounds like a cross between Mariah Carey and Ciara, and her brand of RnB will not leave you disappointed. Listen to her single “Falling” below.
About a month ago, Cape Town rapper, Linkris’s single “Game Change Gazi” was on Cape Town radio station Goodhope FM’s Hip Hop Top 20. It spent a few weeks on the chart. The rapper, who raps mostly in Afrikaans, addresses social issues in his music. His previous single “Om Dat Ek Kullid Es” is a motivational song to the coloured community to stand up and make their mark. In 2011, he appeared on Internationally Known Mixtape Vol. 2, a compilation of international hip-hop songs by the Washington DC-based record label, Nomadic Wax.
Yoma, a rapper based in George in the Western Cape, performed at the 2016 installment of Afrikaanse Kultuurefees Amsterdam, a music, film, literature and dance festival in Amsterdam. She is currently signed to Cape Town-based indie record label Katalis, which is also home to Afrikaans rap giant HemelBessem and Linkris. Yoma raps over mid-tempo boom bap-inspired beats, which provide a perfect backdrop for her laidback flows and introspective lyrical content. Yoma’s music is inspiring. She sounds comfortable when she raps, and is not afraid to subtly praise herself in her raps.
Early B’s best trait is his flow. He can rap fast but his words will still be audible. His comical punchlines float over catchy bass-heavy, Southern-style beats. His song “Cerebelum” was number 1 on the Goodhope FM Hip Hop Charts for a few weeks. The Port Elizabeth rapper’s music has travelled to the Western Cape, through performances in events in Stellenbosch, Beaufort West, Cape Town and other places. He is probably one of the most entertaining rappers in the country at the moment. Even if you don’t understand Afrikaans, Early B’s music will have you nae-naeing because of its catchy nature.
Cape Town rapper, Miss Celeneous’s lyrics can be hard to access if you are not fluent in Cape Coloured slang. But that won’t stop you from appreciating her skills on the mic. Her personality and fashion sense shine through in her videos and in her lyrics. She stands out with pink or blonde blown-out hair. Miss Celaneous’s music, just like her style, doesn’t hold back – from tales of sexual encounters to how she is the best to ever do it. She hosts a monthly series in Cape Town called Welovehiphop.
Candice Thornton is a Cape Town-born pop and soul vocalist. She recently featured on DJ and producer Lance Theron’s new single “Higher”. Candice is the 2012 winner of Heart FM’s Open Mic Jazz Vocal competition. In 2013, she performed at the Cape Town International Jazz Festival. Her latest single titled “Superhero” is a loungey pop jam with a catchy rhythm and hook. Candice is becoming popular through her weekly performances at Jackson Hall at the Grand West Casino.
Feature image of Miss Celaneous, by Andiswa Mkosi
Written by Elzane Campher and Tatum-lee Louw
*An earlier version of this article wrongfully referred to the Goodhope FM Hip Hop Top 20 as the Hip Hop Top 40. The mistake has since been fixed.