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 (three 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 (three 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 (three years ago) link

wait is this on the album too?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

oh man i love bamthathile. loving this so far

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

This is great.

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

good timing for summer around the corner

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

what a good album

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

aw :)

Yeah, this album is really good.

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

this is amazing

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

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

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

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

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

Sengimoja is the one.

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

i think that's my second favourite after Akanamali

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

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

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

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

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

have only listened to the first disc so far but it's all gorgeous. only issue is when the album is 80 minutes long, the songs do blend together a bit, so it'll take a while to really wrap my head around it.

he's said the first disc is supposed to be his classic sound (he certainly succeeded there!) and the second disc is him experimenting and broadening his sound so i'm curious how different it will be. i didn't like "chasing the summer" much when i listened to it yesterday though.

ufo, Friday, 4 December 2020 09:33 (ten months ago) link

that virtual concert I mentioned the other day is now on YouTube, and serves as a wonderful good-old-fashioned-album-length introduction to this ambitious endeavour - 46 minutes to the album’s 156:

very nice visuals too, and Tout EL World shows up - with the exception of Claudio x Kenza

fat ass deep state operative (breastcrawl), Saturday, 5 December 2020 20:23 (ten months ago) link

listened to the whole thing yesterday, sorta let it wash over me in the semi-background. most everything sounded good at the very least. hope to discover some stunners when I’ll be playing it loud. (“Lengane” with Simmy is probably one, it’s been around for a while).

there was one immediate lovely surprise for me tho, the track I happened to play last of all: the very un-Sun-El-like “No Drama” which has an amapiano-by-way-of-West-Africa feel.

fat ass deep state operative (breastcrawl), Saturday, 5 December 2020 20:53 (ten months ago) link

Listened to the first disc yesterday and the 2nd today. It's a lot more consistent than his last one overall, but the peaks are not nearly as high. There's no Akanamali or Sonini on this, despite the latter's vocalist Simmy guesting on 4(!) tracks. He's digging into a formula more, and while there's some interesting genre dabbling on the 2nd disc and the production remains quite impeccable, a part of me is worried he'll never touch the transcendence of those early singles again.

octobeard, Saturday, 5 December 2020 22:29 (ten months ago) link

Despite the criticisms, there's a pretty amazing record here, especially if you edit it down to one disc, which I might end up doing at some point. Hard not to expect quite a bit of filler on an album 2 hours and 40 minutes long.

octobeard, Saturday, 5 December 2020 22:30 (ten months ago) link

agree that those highest Himalaya highs are not there, but the four lead singles (“Uhuru”, “Ubomi Abumanga”, “Never Never” and “Mandinaya”) have all been amazing, and he could (should) have included “Into Ingawe” as well. if you add the next-best gorgeous new tracks and one or two of those Sun-El instrumentals, plus the Niniola and “No Drama” as bonuses you’d have a magnificent set.
it becomes a lot less interesting when he features Sauti Sol, and “Garden”-variety Sun-El is not where it’s at. a Chris Martin collab is probably inevitable tho.

fat ass deep state operative (breastcrawl), Saturday, 5 December 2020 22:57 (ten months ago) link

I feel the second album blues more with the new Simmy. it’s very good, don’t get me wrong, but it’s just a folder with a lot of tracks to me, whereas the first Tugela Fairy was a relatively concise and perfectly balanced out album.

fat ass deep state operative (breastcrawl), Saturday, 5 December 2020 23:03 (ten months ago) link

oh btw, if you came here for the first new Sha Sha song in over a year, you can find it over here on the “eMcimbini”/Kabza & Maphorisa thread.

it’s very dreamy.

fat ass deep state operative (breastcrawl), Saturday, 5 December 2020 23:24 (ten months ago) link

I feel the second album blues more with the new Simmy. it’s very good, don’t get me wrong, but it’s just a folder with a lot of tracks to me

I need to revisit it again, but I feel similarly about hers as I do with Sun-El's - quantity over quality, but with a baseline of quality still present. If you edit it down it's great, but still a step down from her debut. I'm not feeling "blues" per se with these records, they're both still great. I suppose that sentiment only comes off due to the relative comparisons. It's hard for any artist to pull off that untouchable magic they both had a couple years ago a 2nd time in a row, let alone the rest of their careers. I would love to be able to see them perform at some point post-pandemic. I hope they can find broader success outside of Africa/S.A. and that in turn might evolve their sound.

octobeard, Sunday, 6 December 2020 00:19 (ten months ago) link

with the sun-el album i largely agree that while it doesn't quite reach the incredible highs of "akanamali" and "sonini", it's still stronger than i expected for a 160 minute album and even when he's at his most formulaic it's still quite enjoyable because his formula is that good. as breastcrawl mentioned, the strongest tracks are still fantastic. he's kinda the ideal artist to make something this long because it's such pleasant music to have in the background all day. the second disc doesn't really expand his sound as much as i was expecting from his stated intention though.

the simmy album is a little more sprawling than her debut too but it's still quite strong. i still need to spend more time with it but it's not an obvious step down or anything

ufo, Sunday, 6 December 2020 01:03 (ten months ago) link

ymmv but i thought the new simmy album requires LOTS of repeat time to open properly. i wrote it off after three listens then gave it one more go and it just started catching fire.

the serious avant-garde universalist right now (forksclovetofu), Tuesday, 8 December 2020 02:59 (ten months ago) link

Most of the English language tracks are very cringey for me. Couldn't get through them.

A True White Kid that can Jump (Granny Dainger), Tuesday, 8 December 2020 03:47 (ten months ago) link

Agreed! Skip them!

the serious avant-garde universalist right now (forksclovetofu), Tuesday, 8 December 2020 04:42 (ten months ago) link

New Samthing Soweto EP! Not yet cracked but I have a lotta faith in this guy.

the serious avant-garde universalist right now (forksclovetofu), Friday, 11 December 2020 05:58 (ten months ago) link

The Samthing EP is glorious!
Upbeat, uptempo amapiano with producer De Mthuda at the helm for most of the tracks. I love Aymos and Daliwonga, but it’s a real treat to hear The Original Vocalist flexing again. Opener “Chomi” had me jumping around in the early morning, “Tilili” is one for the ages (love the interplay with his own voice and co-vocalist MalumNator), first single “Weekend”, which I liked not loved, falls perfectly into place here, and the live medley of previous hits with the Mzansi Youth Choir brings joy to the world.
Samthing Soweto ft. De Mthuda, Da Muziqal Chef & MalumNator • Tilili
Samthing Soweto ft. Mzansi Youth Choir • The Danko! Medley

im-polite-post-post-post-pomo (breastcrawl), Friday, 11 December 2020 22:03 (ten months ago) link

New Mlindo song as well!
Mlindo The Vocalist ft. Nathi • Mali

im-polite-post-post-post-pomo (breastcrawl), Saturday, 12 December 2020 01:40 (ten months ago) link

I'm 3/4 into the Sun-El and I find it ridiculously consistent and pleasant. I guess it's the kind of fuck you artists can give to music nerds obsessed about quality over quantity or the need to produce tracks that can go into ILM polls. South Africa's obsession with Aaliyah's "Try Again" is funny.

Nabozo, Monday, 14 December 2020 17:06 (ten months ago) link


So is no one listening to the new Samthing? Try “Tilili” at least, folx!

(please don’t tell me y’all are too wrapped up in the noms bizz. December is part of 2020 too, the busiest part in SA in fact when it comes to new releases)

The songs are a little bit too squarely in the amapiano norm: not a problem as background to his fantastic voice but lacking the dynamics of his hits. Tilili is the best but the track still moves like a slug you could find at the end of any KDS album.

Yesterday I listened to every Dj Manzo SA / Comado / Mthandazo Gyata song and these guys have true potential.

Nabozo, Tuesday, 15 December 2020 19:57 (ten months ago) link

yeah the samthing EP (lol that 36 minutes is now an EP with amapiano track lengths) is decent but sometimes feels a little too amapiano-by-numbers and isn't as strong as last year's album. still pleasant though

ufo, Wednesday, 16 December 2020 09:58 (ten months ago) link

The Danko! Medley is amazing! Highlight for me

octobeard, Thursday, 17 December 2020 02:43 (ten months ago) link

im v late to this party but this is some of my favorite music ever rn

discourse stu (m bison), Saturday, 19 December 2020 18:46 (ten months ago) link

Uwrongo is on Obama’s EOY list lol

human and working on getting beer (longneck), Saturday, 19 December 2020 20:43 (ten months ago) link


the serious avant-garde universalist right now (forksclovetofu), Saturday, 19 December 2020 20:52 (ten months ago) link

he went with the edited version, very unpresidential imo

it’s summer in Mzansi:
Blaq Diamond • SummerYoMuthi

Love Mlindo's loopy vocal on this album cut:
Senzo Afrika ft. Mlindo The Vocalist & Alie Keys • Ngiyajola

The Danko! Medley is amazing! Highlight for me

― octobeard, donderdag 17 december 2020 3:43

there's a video now, just in time for Xmas:
Samthing Soweto ft. Mzansi Youth Choir • The Danko! Medley


This is an amazing uplifting clip. Love this new blue lipstick trend.

Nabozo, Sunday, 20 December 2020 23:42 (ten months ago) link

Watched it 10 times already. Now want them to cover every Amapiano song in existence.

Nabozo, Monday, 21 December 2020 01:06 (ten months ago) link

more beauty:
Fka Mash ft. Just Bheki & Da Muziqal Chef • Zamalobolo

happy new year!

Black Coffee ft. Maxine Ashley & Sun-El Musician • You Need Me

obsessed with quality over quantity or the need to produce tracks (breastcrawl), Thursday, 31 December 2020 19:56 (nine months ago) link

finally got around to the Claudio x Kenza album and I think it's maybe better than both Simmy's and Sun-El's albums this year

ufo, Friday, 1 January 2021 11:43 (nine months ago) link

one month passes...

new Mthunzi track - with Sun-El:
Mthunzi • Elentulo

Long Tall Arsetee & the Shaker Intros (breastcrawl), Sunday, 28 February 2021 15:13 (seven months ago) link

reminder that most of the current South African musical action is now taking place here:

MZANSI MUZIQ 2021 🇿🇦 Rolling South Africa thread

Long Tall Arsetee & the Shaker Intros (breastcrawl), Sunday, 28 February 2021 15:19 (seven months ago) link

three weeks pass...

Nobuhle, best known for her feature on Sun-El’s “Never Never”, has a new song out, “Phezulu”, produced by Kenza (no Claudio):

This is how she sung it live back in June:

(I can't help but miss this thread, but see the post above - the beauty is still on duty, it just moved to a different location!)

Blick, Bils & Blinky • Let's Skip The Shaker Intros (breastcrawl), Sunday, 21 March 2021 16:42 (seven months ago) link

two weeks pass...

I made a Spotify playlist with (almost) everything posted in the MZANSI MUZIQ 2021 🇿🇦 Rolling South African thread as well as South(ern) African tracks posted this year on other threads, like this one:

ILM rolling 🇿🇦 Mzansi MusiQ 2021 🇸🇿 🇳🇦

Blick, Bils & Blinky • Let's Skip The Shaker Intros (breastcrawl), Monday, 5 April 2021 20:21 (six months ago) link

one month passes...

Kenza (without Claudio) with Ami Faku --->>

"Sihlobo Sami":

Long Tall Arsetee & the Shaker Intros (breastcrawl), Saturday, 8 May 2021 20:28 (five months ago) link

two months pass...

love that track.

Yours in Sorrow, A Schoolboy: (forksclovetofu), Tuesday, 13 July 2021 15:23 (three months ago) link

one month passes...

Sweet and intoxicating, a few steps short of transcendental, really few. Love the vocals. There's also an extended mix
Sun-EL Musician - Portia's Chant

Nabozo, Sunday, 15 August 2021 09:27 (two months ago) link

one month passes...
Sun-El Musician - Higher feat. Simmy
Sun-El Musician - (more) Higher feat. Simmy

Nabozo, Sunday, 19 September 2021 17:37 (one month ago) link

just listened to this <33333

class project pat (m bison), Sunday, 19 September 2021 17:39 (one month ago) link

great tune

nxd, Sunday, 19 September 2021 22:35 (one month ago) link

oh it's gorgeous

dyl, Monday, 20 September 2021 19:26 (one month ago) link

Very uplifting comedown music

human and working on getting beer (longneck), Monday, 20 September 2021 20:53 (one month ago) link

this is fucking good

When Young Sheldon began to rap (forksclovetofu), Thursday, 30 September 2021 15:58 (three weeks ago) link

what a song. love everything they do together.

Indexed, Friday, 1 October 2021 21:15 (three weeks ago) link

i like side b ("ululate") of the single he just put out

dyl, Saturday, 2 October 2021 04:17 (three weeks ago) link

this is so beautiful

"Wawundithembisile" - The One Who Sings ft. Sun-El Musician and Kenza

Roz, Monday, 11 October 2021 04:27 (two weeks ago) link

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