This weekend (1 – 4 September), the Red Bull Music Academy Weekender Johannesburg will bring a diverse line-up of artists, to different parts of Jozi. The Bassline, And Club, Kitcheners, Carfax, Great Dane, 1 Fox Newtown and Zone 6 Soweto, will host a total of 60 artists. We understand it can be overwhelming to choose from such a big number of artists, so we recommend seven acts including Christian Tiger School, Moonchild Sanelly, Black Coffee, Sketchy Bongo and more.
Earlier this year the New York Times named her Joburg’s coolest resident. With her edgy dress sense and electric “blue mop” for a crown, it’s easy to see why. But if you’re in Joburg this week then you have to catch her on stage this Saturday and let her serenade you with hits like “Rabubi” and “Dance Like a Girl” from her album, Rabulapha. She should perform her recent material (like “Fox With That” and others). Moonchild’s music is a melting pot of influences from kwaito, to afro pop, to electro. It should be a spectacle seeing her perform live. She shared her favourite albums of all time with us, earlier this year, here.
The hit single, “Back to the Beach” not only launched Shekhinah and Kyle Deutsch into the national spotlight, it also introduced some of us to their talented producer, Sketchy Bongo. As we’ve highlighted on our list of Sketchy Bongo-produced songs that aren’t “Back to the Beach”, this masked producer is far from a one-hit wonder. He is one of the most versatile producers in the country, and if you’re heading to the #RBMJozi , he’ll take to the stage with his ally, Durban hip-hop artist, Aewon Wolf, who’s another one to not sleep on. We listed Aewon Wolf as one of the artists to watch this year. And we weren’t wrong.
Cape Town rapper Youngsta has been dropping hot verses alongside some of your favourites, like Stilo Magolide, Reason, Tumi, Ill Skillz, Driemanskap and more, for a while. He’s finally getting his chance to shine. Be sure to check him out, especially if he is with his DJ, The Muffin Man, who can make beats live on stage, while the rapper freestyles. Youngsta’s one of the best hip-hop performers in South Africa; the clarity of his delivery will make sure you hear every word he spits, and his stage antics and presence are unmatchable. To get you warmed up, here are seven of his best guest verses.
Mashayabhuqe KaMamba’s self-created genre, digital maskandi, has seen him rocking stages all over the country and even abroad. Since his emergence in 2014, the forward-thinking artist has been featured on reputable publications like The Fader, Okayafrica, the African Hip Hop Blog and The Guardian . Mashayabhuqe has collaborated with Okmalumkoolkat, Thandiswa Mazwai, Reason and more. His live performances bring out spirits, and he infects the audience with the Holy Ghost, just like his muse, the late Busi Mhlongo, who he told us, alongside other male musicians on the female artists who inspire them, how she helped him create digital maskandi. Mashayabhuqe will be setting the stage on fire at #RBMJozi on Friday night. We’ll be singing “Hallelujah to the gods,” all night.
AKA’s live show is in a league of its own. He brings out a full band. But unlike most rappers who perform with live bands, the grit of his songs is not lost, so you’ll hear all the sinewy synthesizers as they are on records, only hearing them being played live gives them a new dimension you won’t get from an MP3 file. He’s already armed with an arsenal of hits, guaranteed to have you singing and rapping along. Earlier this year we looked at five possible reasons why AKA has stayed on top of the game since 2011.
Black Coffee is probably one of the most chilled artists we have in this country. For someone who has just won a BET Award for Best International African artist, rubbed shoulders with P Diddy and made a hot remix for Alicia Keys, the DJ has stayed very low key. But stayed focused on what is important, delivering dope house tunes. Black Coffee is an innovative performer, and one can expect anything on his set in Soweto. Do yourself a favour and check him out, he’ll have you dancing again and again.
Christian Tiger School
Another innovative bunch, Christian Tiger School, an electronic and hip-hop production duo, bring something new for every show. They can spice their set with a guitarist or live drums as they did at Rocking The Daisies and the Cape Town International Jazz Festival. The duo’s psychedelic beats will tell you to chill out and dab at the same time. We can’t predict what they have in store for this weekend, but we can guarantee you’ll have a great time. Christian Tiger School’s set was among the best at this year’s Cape Town International Jazz Festival.
What artists are you looking forward to at the #RBMA? Let us know in the comments section below, or on Facebook and Twitter.