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15 Great Albums and EPs by South African Indie Artists That Came Out in 2020

The road for indie artists is always difficult, all the more so in the midst of a pandemic, but an intrepid few in South Africa managed to turn out some exceptional music in 2020. Without the support of major labels, musicians such as Marcus Harvey, Muzi, and Desire Marea moved mountains to create new releases, and the results are impressive. Desire draws inspiration from their previous work as part of the duo FAKA and yet manages to push themselves further from the gqom/dance sound they created, to a more avant-garde progressive sound. Mama is Muzi’s audio tribute to his late mother. The renowned producer channels the pain of loss through song, and the result is something special. Langa Mavuso’s mesmerising journey of heartbreak told through enchanting soul melodies that swing from sweet falsettos to raspy rap-talking. The album is made up of songs about love, loss, search and surrendering. Of Angels and Ancestors largely explores themes around spirituality (particularly African spirituality), Blackness, African consciousness and, ultimately, self-awareness. It sounds like ZuluMecca is more interested in educating than entertaining, and somehow lands square in the middle of both.