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This week, I have been trying to listen to more South African musicians and artists. I started by first listening to the South Africa Top 50 songs on Spotify. The charts were surprisingly similar to the charts at home with lots of Billie Eillish, Justin Bieber, Khalid, and Sam Smith. I think it’s pretty cool that South Africans and Americans listen to similar music. For me, I have always seen music as a way to bond with others. When I listen to music, I feel happy, and I know the people around me listening to it feel that as well. Knowing a song makes the experience more fun and powerful. As a dancer, music is my one fuel. A good song is all I need to feel comfortable and to feel good. So by listening to the same artists, music is an easy ground on which we can connect over.

I have also been trying to find more South African artists and listen to popular songs in South Africa. I think music is such a subtle but easy way to connect with the new spaces and new cultures around you. In the US, I mostly surround myself with sounds from US artists and local artists from Chicago. So while I am here, I want to surround myself with the sounds of South Africa. I feel that their music reflects different energy and tells different stories than the songs at home. Because I get much of my energy from the music I listen to, I want to tap into a different kind of energy while I am here. It has been pretty cool when I walk into a restaurant or store and hear a song I recognize playing. I see other people bopping along to the song and I am able to bop along too.

Here are some cool bops I found that wouldn’t on the US charts:

Fetch Your Life by Prince Kaybee

Into Ingawe by Sun-El Musician and Ami Faku

Gugulethu by Prince Kaybee

Jika by AKA

Sondela by Tresor

Waiting for You by Goodluck

Have a listen and hope you like them!