#Phola; Curated by Sihle Ntuli

In the second project for our special End of Year music feature(s), Sihle Ntuli curates a playlist which is the product of a collaboration between Bakwa and Ja magazine. The playlist explores the African youth in the global context as it highlights music from different parts of Africa. “Phola” is a colloquial term meaning to relax or chill. The word “Phola” in isiZulu means “Cool” or “to Heal”. Music selected for this playlist has been chosen as a result of reflecting both these meanings.


Phola_Bakwa_Ja mix_LowRes


“Phola” is a colloquial term meaning to relax or chill. The word “Phola” in isiZulu means “Cool” or “to Heal”. Music selected for this playlist has been chosen as a result of reflecting both these meanings.

In terms of ideology, the African youth in the global context was the theme of the tape. We begin the tape with King Mat from Zimbabwe who features Cameroon’s Nyah Chong. Alongside Greek they form part of a crew known as RSL. The title of the track “Finesse the World” is certainly an ideal name for the track. The determined and ambitious sound meant it was the ideal opener for the playlist.

Durban is a city which has sadly been seen as secondary to places like Johannesburg and Cape Town. In defence of Durban It was only right that “Abafana Basedubane” (The Durban Boyz) was on this selection. As part of the group Halugen, Andelwa Tee & God Art certainly have a potential summer banger on their hands. There are elements of kwaito here that the South African industry has missed since 2005. So the mix of Kwaito and HipHop is certainly refreshing.

Continuing on the theme of prospering, Mind from Grahamstown blesses us with “Get Doe (Madibaz)”. Madibaz would be in reference to the new South African bank notes having the face of Nelson Mandela on every value. Ambition as a theme is continued, and an artists like Mind is very blunt about his ambitions to get his. As noted with Halugen, there is certainly a resurgence of the Kwaito sound of the likes of TKZEE Family of which Mind certainly manages to hold this legacy down well.

“The Scody” is provided by Ol’Gunner Peyroll, a South African artists who provided this Jazzy interlude. He certainly had great fun making this track which is in the spirit of the playlist. Accomplished musician Daniel Nubian provides “He Miss Road” alongside producing “The Scody”. This Ugandan musician is certainly going places as he provides the highlight of the tape in the form of “Future Africa”. Nubian has provided a blend of Afrobeat and other genres in a way that is unique to him and so do not be surprised if you here more of his amazing works in future. On a side note Yuri Diggic works very closely with Daniel Nubian not much else is known other than the fact that he provided the brilliant track “Lets Ride (Sweet Chariot Loving)”.

Pep’s Ignorance provides us with “Live Performance”, Loop 4 & Loop 5. As a producer one can note his Dilla & Kanye West Influences as inspirations behind his sound. This Lesotho born producer has a unique sound that is contemporary and new age yet has a dash of Hip Hop’s golden era.

The playlist was made possible by the open-mindedness of Bakwa & Ja and certainly the artists. The playlist should best be noted as a great stride towards the breaking down of borders between African countries. There is much value in collaborations within the continent be it in music, literature, film etc. This playlist is meant to be an illustration of the endless possibilities. If anything is to be taken away from this playlist would be the simple message, we are all in this together.




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.