Some of these songs have been taken from our pool of Wooden Mic singers, with the Idols showing us 'how it should have been done'. Select your favourite Wooden Mic singers HERE!
Brandon: Lukas Graham – ‘7 Years’ / Azana – ‘Your Love’:
‘7 Years’ by Lukas Graham is a song Brandon loves, and its soul-pop vibe is right up his alley – the trick to this tune is its cadence: it has a hip-hop lilt that we’ve yet to hear from the singer. Azana’s ‘Your Love’ comes from the same family as Sun-El Musician and Simmy (remember how he aced ‘Ubala’ last week?) and it’s where Brandon wants to be as an artist: new school Mzansi, a melancholy dance shimmy with deep pads and a soaring vocal. Oh, and our backing vocalists will be blowing you away, again!
Mr Music: Ringo – ‘Ndiyagodola’ / Sbahle – ‘Emalanjeni’:
Ringo’s brand of heartfelt Afro-pop is a perfect match for Mr Music: light, uplifting and colourfully catchy. It also has undulation and range – Ringo makes it sound easy, but it ain’t! His ‘most Shazamed’ is a newer number from Sbahle that’s delicate and beautiful: a chance for Mr Music to slow down and smile wide – a whisper rather than a roar.
Ndoni: Berita – ‘Ndicel'ikiss’ / DJ Manzo SA, Comado & Mthandazo Gatya – ‘Senzeni’:
The Berita ballad is Ndoni through-and-through: acoustic Afro-pop that’s pleasant but deliberate, and well within her range. ‘Senzeni’ is more street, a pretty house banger with strains of maskandi, a busy bassline and a surprisingly big lyric – for Ndoni to navigate it will require her most vital vocal yet.
Ntokozo: Naughty Boy ft. Beyoncé & Arrow Benjamin – ‘Runnin’’ / Heavy-K ft. Natalia Mabaso – ‘Uyeke’:
Not to write off the rest of the cast, but ‘Runnin’’ is essentially a Beyoncé song, with contemplative verses and a tumultuous chorus – lots of light and shade, a big opening that bursts into a helluva rhythmic clip. Ntokozo needs to run with it. ‘Uyeke’ is a Drumboss special with more tight rhythms and a spacious vocal – it’ll require Ntkozo to glide and groove. She’s demonstrated that she can do dance music, but this is a challenging vocal.
Zama: Alicia Keys – ‘A Woman’s Worth’ / Cici ft. Mafikizolo – ‘Hamba Naye’:
An Alicia Keys classic for Zama, and one that’s deft and dynamic – we know the girl can sing, but this is a grown-up song that’ll require intense concentration and sincerity. It’ll be empowering if she can get a hold of it, which won’t be easy. ‘Hamba Naye’ is more forgiving, but its tender pace belies its complexity: it’s a rhythmic to and fro and Zama will need to tread deliberately.
ZanoThando: Bill Withers – ‘Lean On Me’ / Tyler ICU & Nicole Elocin ft. Kabza De Small & DJ Maphorisa – ‘Bella Ciao’:
It’ll be no messing for ZanoThando with this Bill Withers number: a certified soul classic, it could go wrong if ZanoThando’s heart isn’t in it. It’s singalong, but it has to be taken seriously. ‘Bella Ciao’ is more familiar territory, a murky amapiano number with a plaintive vocal and some sonic fireworks from the Scorpion Kings. Defiantly modern, it requires some vocal dexterity, but it’ll mostly be about the performance, which is where we know ZanoThando thrives.
Season 16 of Idols SA broadcasts on Sundays at 17:00 on Mzansi Magic Channel 161. Get exclusive updates and a behind the scenes look at all the action right here on our site. Don't forget to join the conversation by following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #IdolsSA.