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Shining A Spotlight On South African Upcoming Reggae Dancehall Artists

17 May 2024

Explore the vibrant and emerging reggae dancehall scene in South Africa, as we uncover upcoming artists making waves in the industry. 

Reggae Dancehall is a genre that resonates with vibrant beats, infectious rhythms, and a strong cultural message. While it originated in Jamaica, it has spread its roots across the globe, captivating audiences far and wide. South Africa has not been left out of this musical revolution, producing a number of noteworthy artists who are set to take the Reggae Dancehall scene by storm.

 In this article, we delve into the  upcoming Reggae Dancehall artists from South Africa who are worth keeping an eye on. In the world of reggae and dancehall, a new wave of talent is emerging, bringing fresh sounds and vibrant energy to the music scene.

1. Elaine Kgomotso Letlape, known by her stage name Vudu Yakwantu, was born on August 17, 1979, in Soweto. Raised in a musical household, she developed a passion for the arts early on. Her journey began in high school, where she was selected for a prestigious music program aimed at nurturing young talent in stage performance.

Vudu Yakwantu's music is a fusion of Afro soul, reggae, and raggamuffin styles, reflecting her diverse influences. Her voice is characterized by its raw power, immense range, and distinct African texture. She recently debuted her single "Sondela" and is set to release her next single, "No to Xenophobia," a poignant social commentary.Hereditary love for music is evident in her songs, which often touch on themes of unity among Africans, self-discovery, and love. Vudu Yakwantu's music is a testament to her passion for storytelling and her commitment to promoting positive messages through her art.

2. Xoliswa Bulwane professionally known as Empress Ndalo [Melanin Dawta] is a Recording, songwriter, Composer and Vocalist, versatile in different genres of music including Roots Reggae/Dancehall/Afrosoul & Traditional styles. Her love for music started at the age of 10 where she was noted and picked up to attend many school and church festivals, born in Mossel Bay, Western Cape, she worked her way up getting a break in 2021 where she was nominated for "MEM AWARDS - BEST REGGAE", she then collaborated with 16 International artist’s on Aire State Riddim currently on all digital stores. Her zeal for music saw spearheading Macufe Homebrew Reggae Festival in both 2022 & 2024 having just released two of her single’s "Kheleke" and "Burn Babylon" from her upcoming studio debut album (LENDALO). Melanin Dawta progress musically is something to look out for now even in the future.

Thandoluu, also known as The Tswancehall prince, is a rising star in the reggae and dancehall scene from South Africa. Born Thandoluhle Gobene in 2014, he's part of the Tswancehall Reggae movement, promoting Setswana language in music. Mentored by his father, Red I Scorch, Thandoluu's music journey began at just 4 years old. Despite school commitments, he releases one song annually, garnering attention with hits like "Thandoluu," "Molelo wame," and "Ja Merogo." Thandoluu shines on stage alongside Tswancehall seniors like Red I Scorch and Ragga damdee.

 Booking can be directed to his father Manager Red I Scorch on +27655825239 /Groundedrootsmusic@gmail.com

4. Thabo Modiko, also known as Musical Dynasty, has a remarkable journey in the music industry. From humble beginnings in Soweto, moving to Vaal to founding Dreaded Empire Music, he has shown dedication and passion for his craft. His ability to fuse Afro music and reggae into a unique style has set him apart, earning him recognition as one of the original voices in South African reggae. His collaborations and vision for Dreaded Empire Music demonstrate his ambition to reach world-class status. Keep an eye on Thabo Modiko as he continues to make waves in the music scene!

5. Iyah Angel, born Oageng Andrew Nkgothoe in Lehurutshe, Moshana village in Zeerust, started schooling at Lencoe Primary School and completed his matric at Mpololokang High School. His love for reggae music developed at the age of 19. He began his music career in 2010 after being introduced to the industry by Mpho Fyah Prince Nthai from Venda, Limpopo. His first radio interview took place at Mash FM in Mpumalanga while he was recording at Kasi Agenda Records in Mashishing, Mpumalanga.

Iyah Angel grew up listening to the likes of Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Burning Spear, and more until he realized he could also write songs. In 2011, he was working at THF Records in Rustenburg, North West, as a recording artist and a songwriter. He was working on an EP that ended up not being released due to some misunderstandings with the management, and later on, he decided to leave the label.

In 2014, Iyah did his first dubplate titled "Big Up" at Rustyville Records, owned by Lewy Dalyrisist. The riddim he used was from DJ Seventon (Jaton Van Reneen) from Cape Town. In 2015 and 2016, he took a break to raise funds for studio time. In 2017, he came back after receiving a beat/riddim from MK Crew Productions in London, which he used to record his first single titled "Love is the Answer" at Henny C Records. Within two weeks, he received an invite to perform at Club Silk in Rustenburg, where he performed his single "Love is the Answer," and his fans were happy to see him back on stage.

6. Qhamani, also known as Ras Ragas in the creative industry, is a singer, songwriter, performing, and recording artist. He was born in Port Elizabeth in the area of Daku Njoli, known for its challenges with crime and drugs. Ras Ragas found solace and direction in Reggae and soul music, using it as an escape from his tough surroundings. 

His musical journey began in early 2017, inspired by the Jamaican artist Turbulence Big Lion. In 2018, he released his album "Jah Give" under Lion Head Records, with mixing and mastering by Jah Dread. Ras Ragas has had the opportunity to perform alongside South African icons like Black Dillinger and Turbulence Big Lion. He has graced the stage at Bobo Village in Johannesburg, invited by King Yellow SA.

7. AGMoshwonder Derasta_Mzansirsa is a talented musician, specializing in Reggae, Dancehall, and Afrobeats. At 26 years old, this dynamic artist was born in Molteno, a town near Queenstown hotspot in South Africa. A highlight of AGMoshwonder Derasta_Mzansirsa's career was the opportunity to perform in a virtual concert held in the USA. He has collaborated with numerous producers and artists both within South Africa and internationally.

8. Thabiso "Layahn King" Mayekiso is a musician, activist, songwriter, and a pianist. He has been doing music for almost his earthly existence, He recalls the calling from a tender age. He Lived in KwaZulu-Natal, Newcastle and Durban then moved to Gauteng more than 10 years ago to pursue his music career and grow. 

Layahn King has worked with a few artists like Bravo, Cevin Riss, Slice, DJ Sanza, Chunchu Beats, Jah Yut, RJ Benjamin. Recorded with Adziambei Music Academy, Jah Music Production, Baak A Yard Entertainment, and performed in 6 Provinces, also at Jabulani Theatre, Matlombe Theatre, Kwa Lichaba, Sawubona Music Jam, Sedibeng, Smoking Dragon, Don’t Tatazel, just to name a few.

9. Luyolo Ngewu, also known as JahAsha, is a young talent making waves in the South African reggae scene. Born into a musical family, JahAsha has shown his musical prowess from a young age. His achievements in school choirs and competitions demonstrate his vocal ability and passion for music. Despite his age, JahAsha has already recorded his first song and released a music video, marking the beginning of what promises to be a successful music career. Keep an eye out for this young star as he continues to make his mark on the music industry!

10. Lethuxolo Nhlapho, known in the music scene as RasLethu Rsa, or RasFyah Dancehall Don Dada hails from the small town of Bethal in Mpumalanga. While he primarily identify as a Reggae and dancehall artist, he also has the ability to blend with other genres seamlessly. His musical journey began at the age of 12, deeply influenced by Rastafari livity, which he learned about from spending time with his father, a Rastafari. The profound messages embedded in Reggae music also played a significant role in inspiring him to pursue this genre.

He draws inspiration from legendary artists such as Peter Tosh, Capleton, and Bongo Riot Dancehall Wakanda, whose music has resonated deeply with him. Reggae and Dancehall music has become an integral part of his life, especially considering that during his formative years, he found it challenging to relate to Rap and Kwaito music. His inclination towards seeking truth and positivity led him to Reggae music, where he found a message that resonated with his spirit.

These upcoming artists are not only preserving the rich traditions of reggae and dancehall but also pushing the boundaries and infusing their own unique styles into the genre. As reggae and dancehall continue to evolve, these upcoming artists are leading the way, bringing new sounds and perspectives to the genre. With their talent and passion, they are sure to make a lasting impact on the music world and keep the reggae dancehall vibe alive for years to come.