Following last year’s Mix It Up project, which saw four UK artists join forces with South African amapiano producers on an extra-extra hot EP, we’ve linked up with Nando’s for a second edition of the cross-continental project — keep your eyes open for more details coming soon.
Ahead of the EP drop, we caught up with Major League Djz to dig below the surface of South Africa’s bubbling music scene, discovering some of the best new artists in the game.
Since their emergence from Johannesburg, Major League Djz have garnered attention from all over the world with their distinctive brand of amapiano. The DJ-producer duo founded their Balcony Mix series in 2020, helping to power a surge in the log drum-laden house genre in the years since, becoming global trailblazers for the sound which is now synonymous with poolside hangs and after-hours wind-downs.
The duo – made up of identical twins Banele and Bandile Mbere – now stand among the leading acts for amapiano in South Africa alongside more key players including DJ Maphorisa, Kabza De Small, DBN GOGO, Focalistic, Uncles Waffles and MFR Souls. The South African scene is a hotbed for the ever-evolving iteration of house music, spawning endless talent from producers to vocalists and everything in between, some of whom have seen a very quick rise to the top.
So, find out who Major League Djz are repping in the South African scene right now as they pick their five favourite emerging artists and some of the tracks you should be listening to right now.
“I think ‘Mnike’ is the biggest amapiano song right now, it’s been doing a lot of rounds in South Africa. The track is about giving whatever you can, it’s a silly meaning. The way the drums are built and how the kicks come in when the dance part starts is what draws a lot of people in.”
“PCee and Justin99 come with a different style of music, they’ve mastered the TikTok-based amapiano sound, and they have a dance for every track they drop! I really like the way they do things. I saw them recently in Tanzania, they were doing crazy dances throughout their whole set. It’s always nice to see how the younger generation does things.”
“MaWhoo has a very beautiful voice with a distinctive African feel. The way she sounds on her tracks is very spiritual, a lot of artists are trying to work with her at the moment. She’s an amazing artist, I like the way she does things and has an amazing top-end vocal.”
“Yumbs is doing very well for himself on the South African scene. He just produced a track called ‘Dali Wam’ with Pabi Cooper featuring MaWhoo, his style of music is versatile and this track is very inspired by Africa. He’s super amazing in production, and has worked with everyone in the game producing loads of albums.”
“LuuDaDeejay makes some super crazy remixes that people love, he’s worked on a few projects with us in the past. I believe he’s the next best thing, his productions are amazing. He understands what people actually want. I’ve seen what his music does in the African market and it’s amazing to see how he can switch up production.”
‘Mix It Up Vol. 2’ is available to pre-save/pre-order here
Written by: Tim Hopkins