Welcome To Radio SAM-South African Music

South African Rock Music

List famous South African bands and solo musicians, listed alphabetically with photos when available. These popular bands from South Africa come from a number of different musical genres, including rock, pop, metal, electronic, jam, punk and acoustic. These might not necessarily be the best South African bands, but this list contains a majority of the greatest bands from South Africa. Music lovers who are looking for new music to listen to can use this list of talented South African musicians to discover some great new bands and artists.

South African music has come a long way since then, however. Every week, I hear about someone that I knew, or someone completely new, blasting everyone away. The wealth of musical talent in South Africa is point-blank unbelievable. Bearing in mind the melting-pot that is South African culture (a country with more cultures than you can shake a yard-stick at), South African music has been born out of a mingling of local differences and outside influences; giving it all a special essence that carries with it the unmistakeable flavour of the country.

The problem with South African music, however, is that it all too often begins and ends it’s life in SA, without travelling the world and tipping it’s hat to strange faces.
It’s because of this fact that this post was inspired. I’m based in Brisbane at the moment, but South African music is still in my heart. And it should be broadcast worldwide. So I started compiling a list of SA music that you should be hearing.
Some of these bands are now defunct, some still active, some just taking their first steps and starting out. It would be great if you could help them on their journey.

One last thing; in no way am I claiming this to be a definitive list of SA music. As with any mix-tape compilation, subjectivity is king and rules with an iron fist. There are of course a huge selection of artists who have carved their place in South African Music history, who do not feature below; Hugh Masakela, Brenda Fassie, Johnny Clegg and Juluka, Arapaho, Amersham, Bright Blue, Salty Dog; even some of the newer acts, causing much excitement, such as Fokofpolisiekar, are not mentioned below. This doesn’t mean they don’t deserve to feature; they simply don’t. Deal with it.

Best Dave Matthews Band Albums of All Time Albums
David John "Dave" Matthews is an American singer-songwriter, musician and actor, best known as the lead vocalist, songwriter, and guitarist for the Dave Matthews Band. Matthews was born in Johannesburg, South Africa and moved to Westchester County, New York at the age of 2. Matthews mainly plays acoustic guitar, which he started playing at age 9. From 1991 to 2003, Matthews predominantly focused on songwriting and performing with the Dave Matthews Band.
List of all Dave Matthews albums including EPs and some singles - a discography of Dave Matthews CDs and Dave Matthews records. List includes Dave Matthews album cover artwork in many cases, and if we are missing an album cover feel free to upload it in wiki fashion. This full Dave Matthews discography is alphabetical, however you can sort Dave Matthews album list by any column. Note that this complete list of Dave Matthews releases is based on official releases and does not always include promotional-only discs, although they are listed when we have data on them. Items include everything from 2006-09-30: Farm Aid XXI, The Tweeter Center, Camden, NJ, USA to Live at Luther College.
Dave Matthews Band is considered one of the best alternative rock bands. List of the best Dave Matthews Band albums, including pictures of the album covers when available. This Dave Matthews Band discography is ranked from best to worst, so the top Dave Matthews Band albums can be found at the top of the list. To make it easy for you, we haven't included Dave Matthews Band singles, EPs, or compilations, so everything you see here should only be studio albums. If you think the greatest Dave Matthews Band album isn't high enough on the list, then be sure to vote for it so it receives the credit it deserves. Make sure you don't just vote for critically acclaimed albums; if you have a favorite Dave Matthews Band album, then vote it up, even if it's not necessarily the most popular.
List of the top Dave Matthews Band songs, as voted on by fans like you. This poll includes all Dave Matthews Band hits, but true fans know there are other great songs to vote on besides the singles. Music videos and audio videos are included next to each track name, so if you haven't heard a song you can listen to it right here on this page. Is one of your favorite Dave Matthews Band songs missing from this poll? Add it to the list so it has a chance to rise to the top. Check out other artists best lists on Ranker as well, like Bruce Springsteen and Jack Johnson. 

List below includes Crash Into Me, The Space Between and more classics of the DMB. If the order of this list bothers you, then set the world on fire by creating your own version and re-ranking it. Simply click the "Rerank List" button and you can put the songs in whatever order you like.
 Trevor Rabin
Trevor Charles Rabin is a South African born musician, best known as a guitarist, vocalist and songwriter for the British progressive rock band Yes 1982–1994, then as a film composer.
List of movies with music composed by Trevor Rabin, listed alphabetically with trailers of the movies when available. This list includes any film scores composed by Trevor Rabin, ranging from smaller indie movies to larger blockbuster pictures. Film composers are responsible for writing and composing the music that plays during the movie, which is particularly important for dramas and adventure movies- imagine what Lord of the Rings would have sounded like without an amazing score. Useful bits of trivia are can be found below, such as who directed each film scored by Trevor Rabin and when the movie was first released. Trevor Rabin is a world renowned film composer, so if you're a music buff use this list to find the names of Trevor Rabin soundtracks that you haven't heard before.

Trevor Rabin Albums, Discography

List of all Trevor Rabin albums including EPs and some singles - a discography of Trevor Rabin CDs and Trevor Rabin records. List includes Trevor Rabin album cover artwork in many cases, and if we are missing an album cover feel free to upload it in wiki fashion. This full Trevor Rabin discography is alphabetical, however you can sort Trevor Rabin album list by any column. Note that this complete list of Trevor Rabin releases is based on official releases and does not always include promotional-only discs, although they are listed when we have data on them. Snakes on a Plane and Can't Look Away are only the beginning of the items on this list. You can use the items in this fact-based list to create a new list, re-rank it to fit your opinion, then share it on Facebook, Twitter or any other social networks you belong to. (5 items)
Trevor Rabin is the debut studio album by South African musician Trevor Rabin released in 1978. The South African release was entitled Beginnings and released in 1977. Voiceprint Records re-released Beginnings in 2003.

Eden is a South African pop band. Originally made up of Jay, Paulo, Johan and Sean, the band debuted during the popular South African Aardklop Festival followed by a tour all over South Africa releasing their album In in 1997. After Sean Else left in 2006, the boy band continued as a trio. Since 2003, the band has released three more albums, Point of No Return (2003), Eden (2006) and Knieë Lam (2008), a live DVD Live at The Mardi Gras (2008) and a compilation album Dekade (2009).They are signed to Jukebox label.

The debut was with the limited edition album release titled In on the local label Volstruis Plate. The official national debut release was the album Point of No Return on Select Music / Jukebox Records / Coleske Artists / Sony Music / Sheer. It was a huge hit that went three times platinum in South Africa The self-titled album Eden on Jukebox Records went double platinum. Eden sings a variety of power pop and soft melody ballads, both in Afrikaans language and in English, the latter mostly comprising covers of well-known hits.

In 2011, the band announced that it was taking a hiatus, allowing each individual member to pursue various projects, with the agreement that this was not a break-up and that the band would come together for a new album later on.

Band members have been known to be very active with their side projects in their fields of expertise.

Jay (Jaco du Plessis)

Jaco du Plessis also known by the stage name Jay is the most visible and media-savvy of the band. Considered a sex symbol, he has performed on stage with international acts like The Corrs, Bono, Ronan Keating and Westlife. He has also developed a very successful solo singing career. His beginnings were with theatre. Then he took part as a solo act, and won the annual South African Crescendo award for Afrikaans music organised by ATKV (the Afrikaans Language and Culture Association, in Afrikaans Afrikaanse Taal- en Kultuurvereniging). The win was jointly with another contestant named Joe Niemand. Following that, he released a solo album that earned two nominations for the local GMT Awards winning the title for "Best Pop Album".

Stage and theatre

He was very active on stage in theatrical performances. His debut was with Neil Lessick in the musical Let's Rock in 1999 as a lead singer and was an actor under study for South African State Theatre production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Immediately after that he appeared in The Rocky Horror Picture Show, a member of the DooWah Boys and a lead role in pantomime in A Lad in a Lamp for which he was nominated for an acting prize. Years later he would appear yet again in Janice Honeyman's local remake of Aladdin.

Album SOLO

In 2010, with his band Eden taking a break, Jaco du Plessis released a popular solo album titled SOLO, that sold more than 40,000 copies and gained platinum status in South Africa. the album was in the making for three years starting 2007, with most materials written by Ewald Coleske with additional co-writing by Jay and Reana Nel. Some materials were also contributed by Dewald Wasserfall and by Johan Vorster, the latter his colleague in Eden.

The debut single was "Is ek nie die een". Nitable tracks were "Melanie" also used in Platteland, and two duets with Lianie May. Jay was awarded as a solo act two Tempo Awards by the popular Huisgenoot magazine for "Best Pop Album" and for "Song of the Year" for his single solo release "Melanie". Music video for "Toe Stop My Hart" was nominated for Huisgenoot Tempo award for "Best Music Video of the Year". Jay was also nominated for two South African Music Awards (SAMA) nominations in 2010 for "Best Pop Album" and "Best Newcomer" (as a solo act).

Starting 2011, he concentrated his efforts with Eden, in preparation for their big launch with the massive album success Point of No Return'.

Duo Jay en Lianie May

Besides his solo and band acts, Jay has also cooperated with the South African singer Lianie May forming a duet called Jay en Lianie. They had released a 2012 joint duets album together called Bonnie en Clyde including 16 tracks most notably the songs "Toe Stop my Hart" and "In a Moment Like This".

in Platteland

Jaco du Plessis also took part in a major South African musical drama film Platteland co-written by Deon Opperman and by Sean Else, an earlier member of Eden. The film premiered on screen on 12 November 2011. Jay plays in the film the role of Jakes Ferreira, the son of Mike Ferreira which is played by singer, songwriter and actor Steve Hofmeyr. The film also stars Lianie May as Riana van Niekerk and Bok van Blerk as Dirk Pretorius. The song "Melanie" sung by Jay is on the soundtrack and one of the contemporary music hits woven in the storyline of Platteland with other popular tunes included "Tyd om te Trek" from Bok van Blerk, "Vergeet My Nie" by Lianie May, "Pa en Seun" by Steve Hofmeyr and Bok van Blerk and "Sweet Dreams" by Karlien van Jaarsveld.

Commercial endorsements

He has signed a contract with the brand "Lee Cooper" and is the official face of the firm for its jeans wear and perfume series in South Africa.

Album #DisHoeOnsRol

In 2013, he released a new solo album titled #DisHoeOnsRol.

Johan (Johan Vorster)

Johan Vorster, the vocalist and songwriter of the band started music very early and studied piano and guitar. He studied Music at Universiteit van Potchefstroom and joined the boy band Eden in the late 1990s writing most of the band's big hits including "Is Jy Bang", "54 5de Straat" and "Lyf teen Lyf".

Songwriting and producing / Mozi Records

In 2005, he co-founded Mozi Records with Sean Else, a fellow band member. Bok van Blerk was signed to the label. Vorster co-wrote and co-produced most of the album De la Rey with Sean Else and Johan Rautenbach which became the biggest selling original Afrikaans record of all time. Johan was the co-writer of the van Blerk song "De la Rey". The song was mentioned on the front page of the New York Times because of its controversial content. He also co-wrote and produced Bok van Blerk's second album, Tyd om te Trek, an album that won the SAMA (South African Music Award) for best-selling album in South-Africa for 2009/2010.

In 2006 Mozi Records signed their first female artist, Lianie May. Vorster co-wrote and co-produced her album, also writing the song "Jy soen my nie meer nie". Her album became the most sold album by an Afrikaans female artist. It won the SAMA (South African Music Award) for the top selling album. In 2008, Vorster won the Huisgenoot Tempo award for "Songwriter of the Year" for the song.

Sports anthems

Vorster teamed up with Coleske Artists and Sean Else as co-writer for the song "Ons vir Jou Suid-Afrika" used for 2007 Rugby World Cup. South Africa won the championship trophy earning the album the Huisgenoot Tempo award for "Best Afrikaans Compilation Album". Johan and Coleske Artists co-wrote and produced the new album Rugby is Groot for the 2011 Rugby World Cup campaign.

Songwriting and producing / Johan Vorster Songs

While at Mozi Records, he established his own "Johan Vorster Songs" publishing firm in 2009, holding all rights to his songs. In the second half of 2010, he resigned from Mozi Records, continuing on his own with his record company and publishing house, Johan Vorster Songs. The firm also includes Andre Odendaal developing and directing film and theatre projects and Jenny Griesel as media and marketing specialist.

In 2010, he signed Karlien van Jaarsveld to his new company. With her album Jakkals trou met wolf se vrou with the label, she won the Huisgenoot Tempo award for "Best Newcomer" in 2011. In 2012, he signed Dewald Wasserfall, and wrote the hit song "Eendag as ons groot is" which has reached number 1 on the charts of several radio stations. Johan Vorster Songs has also exclusively signed Lisa Katzke and as a joint venture with Coleske Artists, Jannie Moolman.

Vorster wrote for the duo Lianie en Jay, notably "Toe Stop My Hart". Johan has also written "Juliet" performed by Steve Hofmeyr, "Net voor die storm kom" performed by Theuns Jordaan, "'n Vrou wild dit hoor" by Bobby Van Jaarsveld co-winner of the Ghoema 2013 "Song of the Year" award and "Melanie" performed by his Eden team colleague Jay (Jaco du Plessis) winning the Huisgenoot Tempo award for "Song of the Year" in 2011.

With Coleske Artists, Johan wrote tens of chart topping songs and produced the Afrikaans is Groot compilation albums series.

Musicals and films

Vorster also co-wrote the musical score for the locally produced musicals, Ons vir Jou, Jock of the bushveld and Shaka Zulu – The Musical, a theatre piece about the rise and fall of the legendary Shaka Zulu, that got staged in the Nelson Mandela Theatre and the State Theatre in Pretoria in 2008, 2009 and 2010.

He wrote most of the musical score for the South African Afrikaans film Platteland released in November 2011, featuring, Lianie May, Bok vam Blerk, Karlien and Jay. He produced a follow up musical film As Jy Sing released in November 2013.

Paulo (Paulo Azevedo)

Paulo Azevedo born in Cape Town is a formally trained singer and musician who also plays the piano, guitar and saxophone. He studied computer programming at Kaapse Technikon, established as a young man his own sound, lighting and staging company and after school hours sang at various venues during his youth. He was a founding member of the band with Didi Kriel and began writing some materials. Fascinated by the success of American and British boy bands, soon others joined in to render it a four-piece band. He has also expertise as a sound engineer and has cooperated with various artists like Mathys Roets, Danie Niehaus, Johannes Kerkorrel and the Coleske-broers. He also does stage production and has toured with various artists.

Sean Else

Sean Else obtained his diploma in Drama at the Technikon Pretoria (now known as the Tshwane University of Technology). Starting his career off as an actor, he appeared in numerous award-winning stage productions and also appeared in more than 30 films and television series.

Sean was one of the starting members of Eden. After leaving the band in 2006, he started his own record label and production company, Mozi Records/Mozi Films with his songwriting partner, Johan Vorster.

He found and co-produced the multi-platinum-selling artists, Bok Van Blerk and Lianie May. He also found and co-produced the up-and- coming artist, Vaughan Gardiner. These artists' sensational achievements include numerous awards, amongst others, the South African Music Award for top selling artist in 2009 to Lianie May and in 2010 to Bok Van Blerk. As songwriter, Sean partnered on many hit songs, including: “De La Rey”, "Ons Vir Jou Suid-Afrika", "Tyd Om Te Trek" and "Die Kaplyn". Music videos for these songs, which Sean produced and directed, have also won Sean numerous “Music Video of the Year” awards.

Sean was also the producer and co-director of big theatre hit shows, "My Vrou se Man se Vrou" (Run For Your Wife by Ray Cooney), "My Boetie se Sussie se Ou" (Caught in the Net by Ray Cooney) and "As die Kat weg is... "

Sean was also co-writer with the award-winning playwright, Deon Opperman, on the musicals, "Ons Vir Jou", "Shaka Zulu", "Jock of the Bushveld" and "Lied van my hart". "Ons Vir Jou" became the most successful Afrikaans musical ever. Due to popular demand it returned to the stage for the third time in three years in June 2012.

Sean's aim and goal throughout his whole career has been to make feature films and in 2011 he formed his film production company, Collective Dream Films and co-wrote, co-produced, directed and edited his first feature film, Platteland. The film starred the biggest selling stars in South Africa. On its opening weekend it became the biggest grossing Afrikaans film ever. The film was the highest grossing South African film in 2011.

In January 2012 Sean and his partners purchased the old Waterfront Studios in Cape Town and their vision and aims are to use their knowledge and understanding to produce local and international films and television series. Their recent productions include: Spud 2 (starring John Cleese) and The Perfect Wave (starring Scott Eastwood).



South Africa's Rock Lists

The South African Rock Encyclopedia

A collection of lists and trivia from
South Africa's pop and rock history

This website forms part of the South African Rock Files, the online archive for the history of South African rock music. Use the tabs on the right to take you to the different sections of the Rock Files.

We are proudly affiliated with Julian's Rock Lists website, the best Rock lists site on the whole world wide web.

References and Contributions: A list of references and people who have helped with this site.


Thys Nywerheid

Thys Nywerheid (pronounced, in Afrikaans, as Thays Nayvuhr-hate) is an alternative rock music project from Pretoria, South Africa. The band's name is a wordplay on the Afrikaans name for Home Industry. The music is a mixture of both Afrikaans and English but it leans predominantly towards the former. Thys Nywerheid is generally regarded by South African music critics as being one of the pioneers in alternative Afrikaans music and is renowned for fusing electronic and rock music and also for their thought provoking and satirical lyrics. They are also one of few rock bands that employs a full-time turntablist.
The band was started as an experimental music project in 2004 by multi-instrumentalist Dawid Kahts and most of the early recordings were sample-based electronic tracks featuring vocal samples of prominent public figures juxtaposed against hard rock guitar riffs. One of these tracks used samples taken from a political radio advert for the now disbanded New National Party and another features a disgruntled dairy farmer complaining to the Eskom call centre about a power failure which resulted in his milk produce going sour. Originally Kahts never intended the project to be commercial in any sense of the word but was persuaded in 2006 by musician Jamie Sharpe to start performing the music live. Sharpe subsequently joined the project as a turntablist and additional vocalist. In 2008 Thys Nywerheid released their debut album Husse met lang messe with South African independent label OneF Records. The album was received very favourably, especially by music critics and was nominated for a Huisgenoot Tempo award for the most progressive Afrikaans album of 2008. In 2009 the band recorded and launched a music video of Snorcity , a song the band recorded as a tribute to South African music legend James Phillips aka Bernoldus Niemand. The video music was directed and produced to reflect the 1970s and is stylistically similar to the Quentin Tarantino film Death proof as well the Beastie Boys video for the song 'Sabotage'. The band took a break in the first half of 2010 but is currently in the studio working on their second full length album.















Sugar Music
Sugar Music

SAmp3.com - download free and legal South African mp3s

SA Rock Digest
SA Rock Digest

Mabu Vinyl & Sugar Music - Cape Town Music Store
Mabu Vinyl

The South African Rock Encyclopedia






(Status: Active. Well, er. Sometimes. For Reunion gigs. When they’re all in the same country.)
(Update: Officially rocking again. Can you say “Hell yeah”?)
Perez. ‘Nuff said.

Nah, just kidding. But come on.. it’s Perez. These guys, I’m sure, were the inspiration for more bands starting up in my hometown of Durban than any other South African band. Perez exploded on the scene with no warning. Within 18 months of their debut show they managed to clock up 4 number 1 singles and sell out just about every live venue in South Africa, still holding attendance records at some of them.

The first time I heard them, I knew that music was what I wanted to do. Point blank. Mike Goddard, the drummer for the band, had been a few years ahead of me at school; and it absolutely blew me away that someone I knew could be on the radio, with a single that I couldn’t get out of my head. It was totally surreal.
The rest of the band were all familiar faces around Umhlanga; it was not surprising that they had a near cult-level local following.

Perez sadly broke up, and I don’t think South African music ever quite got over it. They represented every hope, and every dream we had, of exposing South African rock to an international audience. I remember the exact moment I recieved the news they were breaking up. It was at a band rehearsal, and we all just looked at each other; it was like we had lost the heart and soul of everything we were trying to do.

I left the country for a while. Did some travelling. As fortune had it, upon my return (I was only coming back for 5 days, before jetting out again), all the members of Perez found themselves in the same country, and did a single reunion gig in Durban, at the Bat Centre.
That night, I saw gods play on that stage. And if there’s one band I want to extend a “thank you” to, it’s Perez. Thanks guys.

Just Jinjer are one of the biggest rock band exports in South African history, having sold more that a quarter of a million albums to date. Their power and alluring appeal is fueled by a well-honed and heartfelt musicality, a commitment to communication on a genuine emotional and cerebral level — music that touches the heart, body, mind and soul — and a dedication to their musical mission that is virtually unstoppable.

The band is made up of Ard Matthews on vocals and guitar, Denholm Harding on Bass Guitar, and Brent Harris on Drums, this trio having been part of the solid foundation of the band since it’s inception.

Just Jinjer have shared the stage with many iconic local and international artists on many stages across the world. Most notably at the Nelson Mandela 46664 Concert, Johannesburg in 2009 where they performed with the likes of The Goo Goo Dolls, Annie Lennox, Razorlight, Ludacris, Corrinne Bailey Rae, Peter Gabriel, Live, and Angélique Kidjo. They have also performed support duties, and shared the bill with many international stars such as U2, Counting Crows, Def Leppard, INXS, Maroon 5, One Republic, Hootie and the Blowfish, The Strokes, and many more. On their own Just Jinjer have performed many sold out arena shows across South Africa.

Just Jinjer`s debut album ‘All Comes Round’ became one of the best-selling rock albums in South African history, with their second album ‘Something for Now’ reaching gold status in only three weeks from release. Both albums went on to achieve double platinum status. Their 2006 self titled release ‘Just Jinjer’ also went on to achieve gold status in 2008.

During the band’s career they have had 8 number ones across national radio, and some high profile television soundtrack syncs including MTV’s ‘The Hills’ and the US network ABC’s popular TV show ‘Cougar Town’.

Just Jinjer have been back in their home country of South Africa since 2010 and are currently in the process of recording their 9th studio album with the first single ‘Bright Light’ having been released to critical acclaim in the Spring of 2014, and which is currently enjoying high rotation play on radio, as well as recently taking the Number 1 spot on the Algoa FM Top 30 Chart. 

The band also performed at a sold out run of shows at Monte Casino as part of the SA Tattoo event at the end of 2014, playing to 25 000 people with a 600 piece symphonic orchestra, choir, and marching band. Just Jinjer also recently performed at the iconic Kirstenbosch Gardens in Cape Town, and the Electric Vines New Years Eve festival in Robertson.

Max Normal
Max Normal

(Status: Well… active… but not in the incarnation below)
When I say Max Normal, I’m talking about the Max Normal that ended in 2002, with their last performance as the support group for Faithless in Cape Town. The Max Normal that released the groundbreaking album “Songs from the Mall” in 2001.
Max Normal were, for me, the band that dispelled the myth that white men couldn’t do the hip hop crowd proud in SA; their distinct style of rap, lyrical and beat composition dominated “Songs from the Mall”, and with it there was little doubt that these guys offered the SA hip hop community something entirely original, creative and 100% proudly South African.


(Status: Defunct)
Tweak’s brand of pop-punk never changed my world. But I found myself unable to leave them off this list, simply for the fact that Tweak was largely instrumental in exposing “punk” to a larger South African audience. Now, I know I’m going to get flamed for this, but please note the inverted commas around “punk”. There are plenty of other bands who were flying the punk banner high before Tweak (one of my favourites always being Pet Flyz), but it was Tweak, with their brand of inoffensive, radio-friendly, pop punk that gained punk more mainstream exposure. Criticize them all you want, but they did us a favour.

Freshlyground exploded onto the SA music scene in 2002, and haven’t stopped since. It’s a band made up of individuals from all walks of life, and perfectly blends Afro beats, funk, dance, classical influences and jazz to produce a sound of Africa. Ever since the unstoppable radio hit of “Doo be doo”, Freshlyground is one of those bands who never fails in putting a smile on your face. They continue to make relaxing, easy-listening tracks with their latest release “Ma’Cheri”.

Listen: Freshlyground – Doo be Doo

Website: http://www.freshlyground.com

Farryl Purkiss
Farryl Purkiss
Another product of the coastal town of Umhlanga, Farryl Purkiss is one of the shining lights of South African music.
The first time I met Farryl, his “band” (more accurately described as guys who simply wanted to jam without practising) consisting of Farryl, Mark Campbell and Martin “Jiggy” Brennan was opening for my band at the time. I knew within the first chord that these guys would eclipse our efforts; I just didn’t expect it to happen as quickly as it did.

Farryl has toured both nationally and internationally, with superstars like Missy Higgins and Ben Lee, as well as co-composed and played with Jack Johnson… and now he’s headlined Australia’s famous Big Day Out.

Did I mention that Farryl’s a model? Well, he is. How envious are you now?
Seriously though, Farryl is straight-up one of the nicest musicians I know. When he came down under to tour with Bob Evans, I managed to slip into one of his gigs. Within a second of saying “Howzit?”, Farryl had reminded me of the camraderie that existed in the SA music scene. And, as one of it’s ambassadors, we ca

Listen: Farryl Purkiss – Deja Vu

Website: http://www.farrylpurkiss.com

n’t do much better.


Springbok Nude Girls
Springbok Nude Girls
Another band that basically are South African music, the Springbok Nude Girls exploded onto the indie-music scene in the mid-90’s, championing an eclectic and energetic approach to rock music that instantly struck a chord with the university crowd around their hometown of Stellenbosch.

What’s the Nudies music like? Well, take some punk, reggae, scat, metal, funk, jazz and psychedelia; throw it into a big melting pot; stir in some intrinsic Africa… and you have some idea.
Inevitably, the Springbok Nude Girls went the way of the majority of rock acts in SA, and headed into the deadpool on a sad day in South African Music history.

However, after more than 5 years apart, the pull became too much for the boys, and have recently reformed as the (more international sounding) “Nude Girls”. This track is one of the cult-favourites they gave life to…

Listen: Springbok Nude Girls – Bubblegum on my Boots

Website: http://www.nudegirls.co.za




Saron Gas
Saron Gas

(Status: Active, in the US, as Seether)
Not many Yanks know this. Seether began their career as a band from Maritzburg, called Saron Gas. Saron Gas slipped away quietly to the United States to perform a showcase with a large independent record label. The result of that meeting? A seven album record deal, change of band name and relocation to the United States.
The US may have become base for Saron Gas/Seether, but SA had them back before they started playing for the labels, as opposed to the music. We had them when they produced stonkers like “69Tea”, below.

Listen: Saron Gas – 69Tea

Website: http://www.seether.com




(Status: Active)
One-time lead singer for the afore-mentioned Movie55, BOON is quickly making a name for himself in South Africa as a solo artist. The themes of BOON’s music relate down-to-earth, everyday life, running the full gamut from kissing to loneliness, birth to death. No matter what form the songs are delivered in, it’s always music for the masses.
When I first heard the below single, I wasn’t sure about it… until that chorus kicked in. It’s haunting. Stick with it. I guarantee that after a few spins it will grow on you.

Listen: BOON – Silent Scream

Website: http://www.boonmusic.com












The Parlotones
The Parlotones
(Status: Active in UK)
I remember the first time I saw Parlotones play; the lead singer, Kahn Morbee climbed onto the stage, and aimed his trademark megaphone at the microphone, and I knew I was in for a good night.
Due to The Parlotones eccentric creativity, it took a while for them to gain widespread acceptance; in some ways, they’ve reminded me of Radiohead, and the reactions to their more “prog-rock” releases in that regard. However, South Africa has been realising their potential in the last few years, and The Parlotones now stand as one of the bastions of South African rock.

If you get a chance to see these guys live, grab it with both hands.

Listen: The Parlotones – Rock Paper Scissors

Website: http://www.parlotones.co.za

Watershed : 1. Line of separation between waters flowing to different rivers or basins or seas. 2. (fig.) Turning-point e.g. in history. 3. (pop.) Catchment area. (f. water + shed ridge of high ground (cogn. w. SHED after German Wasserscheide) – or so says the New Edition of The Concise Oxford Dictionary.

In South Africa and Europe however, ‘Watershed’ is better defined  as the band around songwriter and lead singer Craig Hinds – one of the most popular export products the Rainbow Nation has on offer.

Their latest album “Staring at the Ceiling” (translated into German: An die Decke starren - rather in the sense of contemplation than complacency) was released in August last year and has already reached Gold Status in South Africa. After Craig’s return from a five week stint in America (including song writing collaboration in Nashville), Watershed will be on tour in the UK and on an extensive concert spree in Germany  before the band returns to South African venues to consolidate their triumphant accomplishments on all levels, locally AND internationally.
The name of the band, ‘Watershed’, indeed refers more to the figurative meaning in the sense of turning point, in Craig Hinds’ case a ‘watershed’ in his personal history. “We all come across turning points in our lives. They tend to come in the  blink of an eye and can turn your life completely around. Negative or positive, you have to face them”, rationalises Craig Hinds. The teacher-turned-musician/songwriter never considered music as a serious career choice. After his compulsory year in the Army, Craig studied teaching English and History for four years and worked two years as a high school teacher before he reached his personal turning point. “I had piano lessons as a youngster, but gave it up because I was bored of it”, Craig confesses, “it only was during my time in the army that I picked up music again.” Then, during his teaching years, Craig started playing music more and more, initially cover songs in restaurants and bars and, with growing confidence, “I  threw in a few of my own compositions…” The reaction was overwhelming: requests for his music grew to such an extent that Craig had to decide which route to follow. “I guess I was always keen on the idea of bringing messages across in a positive way,” muses the multi-talent, “as a teacher or as a musician. But I came to a point where I could not fit both under one hat anymore.” He undertook to follow the musical direction.

A decision which ‘propelled’ him and Watershed into fame. Since their early beginnings in 1999, Watershed have delivered three previous albums (“In the Meantime” [2000], “Wrapped in Stone” [2003], “Mosaic” [2005]), of which one went Gold and two made Platinum. Each released single turned into a hit and dominated South African as well as European charts. Their single “Indigo Girl” was even recorded in Mandarin for the Chinese music scene.

It was “Indigo Girl”, taken from their debut album “In the Meantime”, that catapulted the band onto the radar of  foreign territories right from the word go. A German radio disc jockey who heard the song whilst being on vacation in SA, was so enchanted by the ballad that he aired “Indigo Girl” on his German radio channel, SWR3, where it was play-listed due to popular demand. The song hit the Top Ten and the band visited Germany, where they performed at “Top of the Pops” and SWR3 New Pop Festival. “In the Meantime” was nominated for two South African Music Awards whilst Watershed was voted South Africa’s Hottest Band by People Magazine for two years consecutive.
The extraordinary launch of “Wrapped in Stone” via a concert on Nelson Mandela Square in Johannesburg attracted more than 10 000 fans. The album received a much acclaimed SAMA, and Watershed an invitation to perform alongside the likes of Queen, Bono, Beyoncé, Annie Lennox and The Corrs at the Nelson Mandela 46664 Concert, held in Cape Town 2003.
For the production of “Mosaic”, Watershed brought South African music guru J.B.Arthur,  as well as Mark Hunter and Saul Davies (from the British rock group James) and songwriter/producer Ali Thomson on board. “Mosaic” won a SAMA and sold well beyond Platinum.

“Staring at the Ceiling” has effortlessly joined the success of its predecessors. So far, all three single releases from this fourth album, (“Breathing”, “Train Ride” and “Future Sunshine”), went instantaneously Top Ten in the SA Airplay Charts.
Plus: it earned Watershed an appearance in the music bible, the US magazine Rolling Stone, which refers to Watershed’s sound as “feel-good, Mid-Western acoustic rock…”  

Asked in how far “Staring at the Ceiling” differs from Watershed’s previous albums, Craig analyses: “It has slightly more edge than the others. The first album was innocent, the second introverted and slightly darker in its lyrics. The third was harder, rawer and we started experimenting with sounds and producers. The lyrics were based on my personal thoughts on love, life and pretty much everything else, whereby ‘Staring at the Ceiling’ draws more on other peoples’ lives, expectations, hopes and dreams and what could come from it. The track ‘Jerry and Jenny’, for example, tells the story of two people who are both experiencing a negative situation – the one tackles it, the other does not,” elevates the songsmith. “But above all, we were fortunate to work with major talents in England. Their guidance was invaluable.”

The ‘major talent’ Craig speaks of, includes next to tried-and-tested Mark Hunter, Saul Davies and Ali Thomson, the acclaimed British producer Eliot Kennedy, whose list of production credits range from Bryan Adams to Take That and the Spice Girls. The sonic touch of the UK based musical magicians is certainly present, but producers Eliot Kennedy and Ali Thomson have expanded rather than dictated the band’s unique style.
There is a breathlessness that runs through the song “Breathing”, “Train Ride” is an irrepressibly thought provoking song with a chugging, acoustic guitar driven rhythm, “Future Sunshine” brings back the charm of classic rock ballads and on “Jerry and Jenny” is the melodramatic character of the song masterly captured by using subtle piano, heavy guitar riffs and prevalent drums.

‘Staring at the Ceiling’ is most probably Watershed’s finest album yet, another testimonial of their signature sound, piano-based rock of class and quality. It is a superbly composed amalgamation of organic sound, inimitable vocals, impeccable musicianship and Craig’s gift for song crafting that creates the distinctive sound responsible for Watershed’s instant success and fast growing recognition.

The next generation of dictionaries might want to include the additional entry 4. Watershed (etym.) popular South African piano-based rock band headed by lead singer and songsmith Craig Hinds.

Watershed is:

Craig Hinds – vocals, piano, acoustic guitar, harmonica
Nic Rush – lead guitar & vocals
Peter Auret – drums
James Sunney – bass & vocals
Hylton Brooker – keyboards
Discography & Related Facts:

1. “In the Meantime”: April 2000 / South Africa
                    two SAMA nominations
                    Platinum Status/ South Africa
                    Producer: Brian O’Shea/South Africa
                    Released in Germany: 2002

 2. “Wrapped in Stone”:        September 2003/ South Africa
                    SAMA Award 2003
                    Gold Status
                    Producer: Brian O’Shea/South    Africa
                    Release Date Germany: 2003

 3. “Mosaic”:                October 2005/ South Africa
                    SAMA Award 2005
                    Platinum Status/South Africa
                    Producers: J.B.Arthur/ South Africa
                    Ali Thomson/ UK
                    Released in Germany: 2006     

4. “Staring at the Ceiling”:        August 2008/ South Africa
                    Gold Status (to date)
                    Producers: Eliot Kennedy/ UK
                    Ali Thomson/UK
                    Release Date Germany: 12.June 2009
Additional Awards    

* South Africa’s Hottest Band/ People Magazine (twice)
* The People Crystal Award for Best Band (twice)
* Leisure Options Readers’ Choice Award (regularly



Eden is a South African pop band. Originally made up of Jay, Paulo, Johan and Sean, the band debuted during the popular South African Aardklop Festival followed by a tour all over South Africa releasing their album In in 1997. After Sean Else left in 2006, the boy band continued as a trio. Since 2003, the band has released three more albums, Point of No Return (2003), Eden (2006) and Knieë Lam (2008), a live DVD Live at The Mardi Gras (2008) and a compilation album Dekade (2009). They are signed to Jukebox label.

The debut was with the limited edition album release titled In on the local label Volstruis Plate. The official national debut release was the album Point of No Return on Select Music / Jukebox Records / Coleske Artists / Sony Music / Sheer. It was a huge hit that went three times platinum in South AfricaThe self-titled album Eden on Jukebox Records went double platinum. Eden sings a variety of power pop and soft melody ballads, both in Afrikaans language and in English, the latter mostly comprising covers of well-known hits.





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