THE HOUSE OF SUN-EL: Sun-El Musician, Simmy, Mlindo The Vocalist, and other related artists

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the album to follow-up board favourite single Akanamali is out and it's all gorgeous afro-house in the same vein. one of my favourite pop albums so far this year

ufo, Thursday, 19 April 2018 15:58 (two years ago) link

Akanamali was by far my favorite discovery from the year-end poll, will definitely check this out.

bhad gon' hurt your bhack (voodoo chili), Thursday, 19 April 2018 16:01 (two years ago) link

Probably as good a place as any to put this, which I've never seen mentioned on ILM

omar little, Thursday, 19 April 2018 16:02 (two years ago) link

wait is this on the album too?

omar little, Thursday, 19 April 2018 16:03 (two years ago) link

Ubala is really excellent, one of his best though it's not on the album

ufo, Thursday, 19 April 2018 16:04 (two years ago) link

never mind it's on a mix he put out with the same name:

omar little, Thursday, 19 April 2018 16:04 (two years ago) link

album tracklist:
1. With You (feat. Desiree Dawson)
2. Akanamali (feat. Samthing Soweto)
3. Sengimoja
4. Life We Live (feat. Les-Ego & Nontu X)
5. No Stopping Us (feat. S-Tone)
6. Goodbye (feat. DJ Charl & Lelo Kamau)
7. Umalukatane (feat. S-Tone)
8. Sonini (feat. Simmy & Lelo Kamau)
9. Ntaba Ezikude (feat. Simmy)
10. Random
11. The Wave
12. Bamthathile (feat. Mlindo the Vocalist)
13. Yere Faga (feat. Oumou Sangaré) [Sun–El Musician Remix]

ufo, Thursday, 19 April 2018 16:07 (two years ago) link

if there is even 1 song on here that's half as good as sonini then this'll probably be my favorite album of the year

brendon urine (diamonddave85), Thursday, 19 April 2018 16:16 (two years ago) link

super excited for this, but it doesn't seem particularly available yet? (at least in Canada)

rob, Thursday, 19 April 2018 17:40 (two years ago) link

it's out on the 20th digitally (which it is here) but when I posted this thread I thought it had been released digitally a few days ago since it seems to have gotten a surprise physical release then in South Africa

ufo, Thursday, 19 April 2018 23:28 (two years ago) link

Oh, lol, it's in Denmark as well now. I don't think they accounted for summer time.

Frederik B, Friday, 20 April 2018 00:15 (two years ago) link

excited to hear this! "akanamali" is still achingly beautiful

dyl, Friday, 20 April 2018 03:16 (two years ago) link

I really love the interplay between the scatting vocals and the brass on Sengimoja

ufo, Friday, 20 April 2018 05:10 (two years ago) link

this album is exactly what i could've hoped for, about an hour of songs that scratch the same itch as akanamali

bhad gon' hurt your bhack (voodoo chili), Friday, 20 April 2018 23:23 (two years ago) link

been looking forward to this, haven't heard it yet

Dan S, Friday, 20 April 2018 23:49 (two years ago) link

really quite impressed on first listen. the back half might be my favorite, with the two purely instrumental cuts toward the end being big highlights, "the wave" in particular.

"akanamali" really deserved to conquer the world. as much as i hate to keep singling it out for praise, it deserves all of it and more.

dyl, Saturday, 21 April 2018 02:50 (two years ago) link

for whatever reason the follow-up single to "akanamali", "bamthathile", has not clicked with me tho

dyl, Saturday, 21 April 2018 02:52 (two years ago) link

oh man i love bamthathile. loving this so far

Heez, Saturday, 21 April 2018 03:03 (two years ago) link

This is great.

Tim F, Sunday, 22 April 2018 01:30 (two years ago) link

good timing for summer around the corner

they call me melo gelo (Spottie), Sunday, 22 April 2018 05:15 (two years ago) link

what a good album

flamenco drop (BradNelson), Sunday, 22 April 2018 13:45 (two years ago) link

god bless a record that goes out of its way to make me feel like i'm on a boat

flamenco drop (BradNelson), Sunday, 22 April 2018 13:51 (two years ago) link

aw :)

Yeah, this album is really good.

Frederik B, Sunday, 22 April 2018 15:53 (two years ago) link

Hate to make this comparison, but some of this sounds like an Innervisions release or something I expect Dixon to be remixing.

But yeah, enjoying this a lot anyway.

MikoMcha, Monday, 23 April 2018 08:45 (two years ago) link

Haha yeah I remember Culoe de Song’s early stuff sounded a lot like this.

Tim F, Monday, 23 April 2018 08:58 (two years ago) link

Nothing off this has stood out as much as Akanamali, which is a one-in-a-million amazing song, but it's neat so far.

brand new universal harvester (dog latin), Monday, 23 April 2018 13:29 (two years ago) link

If you ever get to go on a sunset drive down the motorway, whack that song tout-de-suite

brand new universal harvester (dog latin), Monday, 23 April 2018 13:30 (two years ago) link

this is amazing

Nourry, Monday, 23 April 2018 22:17 (two years ago) link

Okay so I still think Akanamali is a unique piece of work that towers over p much everything here. About 50% of the rest of this sounds like passable vocal house and doesn't really interest me. I definitely prefer the stuff that's more obviously African/South African styling but I need to listen a few more times.

brand new universal harvester (dog latin), Tuesday, 24 April 2018 08:46 (two years ago) link

It may be classic vocal house, but I like its light-luminous-breezy character so imo it compares favorably to classic house (a genre I've only brushed admittedly). Akanamali will likely remain the crowd favorite, but the rest is really consistent and agreeable, with some glorious layers and a great sense of melody. I haven't bought a CD in ages, but I'd buy this to play it in the car yeah. Impressive debut.

Nabozo, Tuesday, 24 April 2018 10:45 (two years ago) link

I'll say it's a bit unfortunate to open with With You given some of the tracks that follow, it'd have made more sense to have Simmy instead of the American accent of that Canadian chick. I'm also questioning it because the latter part of the album (from Sonini to Bamthathile) sounds so strong to me, though I can't complain about Akanamali - No Stopping Us - Goodbye.

Nabozo, Tuesday, 24 April 2018 11:05 (two years ago) link

If you like Akanamali, this one is for sure the closest

Nabozo, Tuesday, 24 April 2018 11:29 (two years ago) link

I'm kinda addicted to 'Sengimoja' and 'Goodbye'.

Nourry, Tuesday, 24 April 2018 11:49 (two years ago) link

Nabozo OTM. With You is kind of hedging its bets, but overall it's a pleasant (sometimes erring on the safe/generic side) listen. The last part of the album is much more like it as far as I care so far. This'll make great BBQ music whatever happens

brand new universal harvester (dog latin), Tuesday, 24 April 2018 14:13 (two years ago) link

With You is one of the weaker tracks but it's still nice for the vocal loop that comes in at the end.

ufo, Tuesday, 24 April 2018 14:21 (two years ago) link

Sengimoja is the one.

they call me melo gelo (Spottie), Tuesday, 24 April 2018 19:18 (two years ago) link

I was listening to Sonsini and thinking how amazing it would be to be dancing to this song at sunrise and then the soft rock guitar came in and just slayed me. That one might actually be better than Akanamali.

The rest of this album = let vibes be unconfined.

Matt DC, Wednesday, 25 April 2018 08:03 (two years ago) link

Sonini slightly reminds me of Time is Over (for sheer technoish sky-suspended brilliance). Qamata sonini.

Nabozo, Wednesday, 25 April 2018 12:20 (two years ago) link

Okay I listened to the whole album twice while driving this morning and it's really growing on me. Still not a big fan of the first track but the rest is wonderful. Definitely great in the right context

brand new universal harvester (dog latin), Wednesday, 25 April 2018 14:08 (two years ago) link

since I rinsed Akanamali last year, I find starting on track 3 works really well

rob, Wednesday, 25 April 2018 14:27 (two years ago) link

two weeks pass...

Testing the waters with the Sun-El fandom: I posted this slightly trippy SA gem on the Afropop thread, but over there no one’s biting.

Zinaro ft. JB (of Thee Legacy) & Dust, “Dali Wami”

breastcrawl, Thursday, 10 May 2018 10:51 (two years ago) link

As for the S-EM album, “No Stopping Us”, which didn’t do much for me when it dropped in February alongside “Bamthathile”, really shines in the album context. It wears its generic Robin Schulziness extremely well.

breastcrawl, Thursday, 10 May 2018 10:52 (two years ago) link

Every English-language voice on this is kind of unwelcome even when the music is amazing - that first track is a case in point, when she drifts into the background and the vocal loops come in it's completely sublime but before that nah.

Matt DC, Thursday, 10 May 2018 11:38 (two years ago) link

Agree on “With You” (but it’s as much the melody and the vocal itself as the English) and maybe “Life We Live”, but I’m fine with the English on “No Stopping Us” and “Goodbye”. NSU feels to me like an open invitation to play Janelle’s “Screwed” next.

breastcrawl, Thursday, 10 May 2018 12:18 (two years ago) link

is there a way of buying this album without having to go via iTunes? I don't want a stupid iTunes format file, I want an MP3 or pref a FLAC/WAV?

Hire Planes (dog latin), Tuesday, 15 May 2018 22:23 (two years ago) link

I don't know if it's available digitally in FLAC/WAV anywhere but Google Play has it in 320 mp3

ufo, Tuesday, 15 May 2018 23:06 (two years ago) link

“Sonini”, the track with Simmy and Lelo Kamau, is the new single and has a video to go with it:

breastcrawl, Tuesday, 22 May 2018 21:57 (two years ago) link

i think that's my second favourite after Akanamali

Hire Planes (dog latin), Thursday, 24 May 2018 08:20 (two years ago) link

The entire run from Sonini to the end is absolutely faultless and glorious.

Matt DC, Thursday, 24 May 2018 10:09 (two years ago) link

i'm looking forward to this being my sunny road trip album this summer

dyl, Saturday, 26 May 2018 18:30 (two years ago) link

no, Friday it’s just the new Sun-El single. albums are open for pre-order, no release date given yet.

Welcome to Nonrock (breastcrawl), Thursday, 15 October 2020 18:25 (one month ago) link

sorry for causing overexcitement

Welcome to Nonrock (breastcrawl), Thursday, 15 October 2020 18:31 (one month ago) link

still a reason to stay on this cruel planet

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Thursday, 15 October 2020 18:43 (one month ago) link

“Never Never” is lovely, such a gorgeous slow build.

Tim F, Thursday, 15 October 2020 19:43 (one month ago) link

well, here’s your Taking Sides for this Friday:
Sun-EL Musician ft. Nobuhle • Never Never
Simmy ft. Da Capo & Sun-El Musician • Emakhaya

(I’m going with Simmy here, for now)

Welcome to Nonrock (breastcrawl), Friday, 16 October 2020 11:03 (one month ago) link

<3 that simmy tune

nxd, Friday, 16 October 2020 11:58 (one month ago) link

now listening to “Never Never” less cursorily, and yes, while not nearly as immediate as the Simmy track it’s gorgeous in its understatedness. the way everything swells up with the organ towards the 4-minute mark and then culminates in those horn blasts, wow!

(sure, take this out of context if you must)

Welcome to Nonrock (breastcrawl), Friday, 16 October 2020 12:40 (one month ago) link

both good but i especially like "emakhaya"

ufo, Friday, 16 October 2020 13:04 (one month ago) link

Emakhaya is amazing

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Friday, 16 October 2020 19:58 (one month ago) link

they’re both amazing, is where I’m at right now

Welcome to Nonrock (breastcrawl), Friday, 16 October 2020 20:39 (one month ago) link

Simmy, Tugela Fairy (Made Of Stars), 16 tracks, out Nov 6

Sun-El Musician, To The World And Beyond, 31 (!) tracks, out Dec 4

Welcome to Nonrock (breastcrawl), Friday, 16 October 2020 22:23 (one month ago) link

Nobuhle live:

(the first song hasn't been released yet)

Welcome to Nonrock (breastcrawl), Sunday, 18 October 2020 20:41 (one month ago) link

i think i might prefer "never never" for now! but they're both essential and i can't wait for their albums

dyl, Sunday, 18 October 2020 21:46 (one month ago) link

both gorgeous. this and the rolling afropop thread have opened me up to the best new stuff since I’ve been on ilx - thanks!

Chuck_Tatum, Sunday, 18 October 2020 22:21 (one month ago) link

please don't yell at me for saying so, but the melody of some of the backing vocals in "emakhaya" reminds me of bob sinclar's "world, hold on"

dyl, Monday, 19 October 2020 00:03 (one month ago) link

don't think even Simmy is going to yell at you, she retweeted several tweets like this:

Simmy- Emakhaya (feat. Da Capo, Sun-El Musician)

That "World hold on" humming part😭😭.

— Thyophò (@aphumelele_m) October 16, 2020

Welcome to Nonrock (breastcrawl), Monday, 19 October 2020 06:13 (one month ago) link

Another one I posted on the Baby Are You Coming? thread, but I feel people here could do with some amapiano relaxation as well:
Kota Embassy ft. Cue • Sugar Mama

(this possibly outvibes even DJ Stokie’s “Senorita”)

Welcome to Nonrock (breastcrawl), Monday, 19 October 2020 14:39 (one month ago) link

oh thank goodness! xp

dyl, Monday, 19 October 2020 15:51 (one month ago) link

lovely video for "Emakhaya":

Welcome to Nonrock (breastcrawl), Friday, 23 October 2020 20:33 (one month ago) link

fun fact: Simmy calls herself (or at least her albums) “Tugela Fairy” because she’s from Tugela Ferry in KwaZulu Natal province, a town named after the ferry across the Tugela River that operated here and has since been replaced by the steel bridge you see in the video.

Welcome to Nonrock (breastcrawl), Friday, 23 October 2020 20:57 (one month ago) link

Wow that's the heart of Zululand, it's not far off Isandlwana, and I checked, the area is King's land (Ingonyama). She's basically in the homelands stepping on the skulls of dead British soldiers :D

Nabozo, Saturday, 24 October 2020 16:26 (one month ago) link

lol the Sun-el album is 159 mins long

it bangs for thee (Simon H.), Saturday, 24 October 2020 17:27 (one month ago) link

he is probably the only person right now whose 159-minute-long album i would actually anticipate listening to

dyl, Saturday, 24 October 2020 18:44 (one month ago) link

...and another one (found out through forks' October favourites list):
Sun-EL Musician ft. Julia Church • Garden

Welcome to Nonrock (breastcrawl), Monday, 2 November 2020 16:59 (one month ago) link

in songs I like better:
Mthandazo Gatya ft. DJ Manzo SA & Comado • Senzeni

(reminder: the non-edited version is 6'24)

Welcome to Nonrock (breastcrawl), Monday, 2 November 2020 21:18 (one month ago) link

This folky one is very pretty:
Sbahle • Emlanjeni

Welcome to Nonrock (breastcrawl), Monday, 2 November 2020 21:19 (one month ago) link

brand new video for a track from last year's S-Tone *EP* (as opposed to this year's S-Tone *album*):
S-Tone ft. Simmy • Vuka Africa

Welcome to Nonrock (breastcrawl), Tuesday, 3 November 2020 13:29 (four weeks ago) link

Sha Sha’s voice is so soothing to me on this awful day

kiss some penis reference (breastcrawl), Wednesday, 4 November 2020 18:25 (four weeks ago) link

"senzeni" is really good

fully expecting the sun-el album to be too much, 31 tracks/2.5 hours is totally ridiculous

ufo, Thursday, 5 November 2020 07:08 (three weeks ago) link

in case you don’t have no plans for tomorrow night:

@simmymusicsa launches her album tomorrow!!, 🌟💛 at Pmb.. Alongside @azanamusic and myself
Tugela Fairy ( Made of Stars) has Arrived!!

— NobuhleMusic (@NobuhleMusic) November 5, 2020

kiss some penis reference (breastcrawl), Thursday, 5 November 2020 22:01 (three weeks ago) link

ooh it's out here now and sounding great

ufo, Friday, 6 November 2020 01:35 (three weeks ago) link


ufo, Friday, 6 November 2020 01:40 (three weeks ago) link

well that's my friday listening all day then

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Friday, 6 November 2020 05:44 (three weeks ago) link

listened to this once this morning, now going for seconds. it’s sounding very good indeed. it really gets going from track 5 (“Imihla nezolo”). that whole middle section is fire - a warm, comforting fire.
highlight of the first go-round for me might have been “Ngiyahamba” with Mthunzi.

kiss some penis reference (breastcrawl), Friday, 6 November 2020 17:05 (three weeks ago) link

“Konke” is very good as well, it’s the only track produced by Claudio (of x Kenza fame)

xp to ufo

kiss some penis reference (breastcrawl), Friday, 6 November 2020 17:07 (three weeks ago) link

another track from the Sun-El album dropped:
Sun-El Musician ft. Ami Faku • Mandinaye

kiss some penis reference (breastcrawl), Sunday, 15 November 2020 19:15 (two weeks ago) link


that album's gonna be so good isn't it, even if it's a long double album

dyl, Sunday, 15 November 2020 22:19 (two weeks ago) link

Was curious initially that this and the Simmy albums were dropping in fall/winter and then I realized in South Africa it's spring/summer - the perfect time for these records.

octobeard, Monday, 16 November 2020 01:13 (two weeks ago) link

Good god Emakhaya is so gorgeous. Sun-el really has that magic touch as a producer. I cannot wait for his to drop soon. Gonna be really really nice to have some of his warmth for this cold and dark winter.

octobeard, Monday, 16 November 2020 01:22 (two weeks ago) link

"mandinaye" is fantastic, wow. i sure hope he's able to keep it up for the entire 2.5 hours lol

ufo, Monday, 16 November 2020 02:24 (two weeks ago) link

“December” is a really big thing in SA, it’s the festive season and the summer holidays rolled into one, so everyone is on a quest for the biggest December song.


kiss some penis reference (breastcrawl), Monday, 16 November 2020 19:50 (two weeks ago) link

I'm just getting around to the Simmy album, and it is of course excellent. This year is honestly too much...

rob, Tuesday, 17 November 2020 00:14 (two weeks ago) link

It took me awhile but Simmy's Tugela Fairy LP COMPLETELY got its hooks in me over the past two weeks, making it hard to listen to anything else. There are a few clunkers ('We Were Here' and 'Time After Time') but it's pretty unassailable as a complete album. Much the same as the first one though, it required regular repeat plays to fully sink in... songs like 'Wamuhle' and 'Mabhungu,' which now feel indispensable, were kinda blah on first listen.

Four Seasons Total Manscaping (forksclovetofu), Wednesday, 18 November 2020 19:45 (two weeks ago) link

That said, I would still say 'Emakhaya' is the best of the bunch. And I'm still loving 'Yaz Abantu'! I feel like both are legit worth pushing as best of the year songs.

Four Seasons Total Manscaping (forksclovetofu), Wednesday, 18 November 2020 19:55 (two weeks ago) link

ladies x gentlemen, Claudio x Kenza:
Claudio x Kenza ft. Omi Kobi • Pot of Gold

see them perform it
Q Twins ft. Claudio x Kenza • Vuma
Nobuhle ft. Claudio x Kenza • Phezulu
(not yet released, live performance)

kiss some penis reference (breastcrawl), Friday, 20 November 2020 01:25 (one week ago) link

...and oh hey, I got a little samthing for ya:
Samthing Soweto ft. De Mthuda • Weekend

kiss some penis reference (breastcrawl), Friday, 20 November 2020 01:36 (one week ago) link

this new Simmy record 😱😱😱😱😱😱😱

winters (josh), Saturday, 28 November 2020 09:04 (four days ago) link

I think “Imihla Nezolo” is my favourite track - that bass, those “hey, hey”s.

Also, Sun-El & Ami Faku’s “Mandinaye” keeps growing and growing on me. It’s so beautiful.

Running up that hill but fleeting (a deal with Gop) (breastcrawl), Saturday, 28 November 2020 16:28 (four days ago) link

yes the simmy album is really good, shame on me for taking so long to get to it

dyl, Saturday, 28 November 2020 21:24 (four days ago) link

I went to listen to the Simmy on hike today, typed in Simi by accident and lo and behold I like her too! (Updated highlife from what I've gathered so far)

A True White Kid that can Jump (Granny Dainger), Sunday, 29 November 2020 01:29 (three days ago) link

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