Bongi: Beyoncé – ‘DéJà Vu’:
Of course, Bongi is accomplished enough to sing Bey, but this is not one of the star’s biggest vocal performances – it’s essentially a funk tune. Above the 808 drums, bass guitar, hi hats and horns strut on a bedrock that’s similar to ‘Crazy In Love’. Named the Song of the Year at the Music of Black Origin Awards and produced by Darkchild, it’s redolent of 70’s soul, to which the title is partly attributed – the lyrics also refer to a woman constantly reminded of her past lover. While there’s still space for some vibrato, this song is more about the groove and how Bongi bobs and weaves within it. The question: will we see Bongi dance?
Brandon: Post Malone – ‘Circles’:
It’s a melancholy rock-ish track for Brandon this week – but one that’s also got groove and that was one of the tunes of 2019. It’s got a vibey melody, gentle acoustic swing and a compulsory singalong chorus, all set at a house music tempo. Will Brandon be dancing around the stage as some of the judges have suggested he might do? Vocally, this in his ‘eyes-closed’ wheelhouse, a somber song detailing a relationship gone cold – ‘running in circles’. His fans should love it.
Jooma: S1MBA – ‘Rover’:
Not many people knew Jooma’s last song choice, Masego’s ‘Lady Lady’, but that didn’t seem to harm Jooma at all. So the fact that this week’s tune is also not that familiar shouldn’t scare anybody. It’s a song about making that ‘Mu la la’, and it’s distinctly urban, containing elements of UK hip hop and Afrobeats. Released independently last year, it went viral on TikTok, gaining a bigger single release and charting across Europe. Jooma always delivers, and with this fresh, fun and funky track, he may continue to get chances to do that.
Mr Music: Blaq Diamond – ‘Woza My Love’:
A generously sweet song that Mr Music will no doubt smile all the way through – no bad thing. In a recent clip we shot with the Idols, Blaq Diamond were the only credible boy band according to our singers, and the duo of Ndumiso Mdletshe and Sphelele Dunywa are amassing credits, collabing with Miss Pru, Malome Vector and more. That’s because their brand of Afro-soul is all sunshine and love – perfect for Mr Music, then.
Ndoni: Beyoncé – ‘Already’:
Another Beyoncé track, this time more recent and assigned to Ndoni, who should be feeling confident after last week’s strong performance. Again, this is not one of Queen Bey’s biggest vocals, and with production by Jamaican-American trio Major Lazer and an appearance from Ghana’s Shatta Wale, it’s more dancehall than diva. A tune about remembering your roots, it’s not elaborate vocal fireworks, more a staccato rub and tug, which should suit Ndoni’s raspy rhythm.
Ntokozo: Dua Lipa – ‘Break My Heart’:
A change of direction for Ntokozo, who goes retro disco with the fabulous Dua Lipa. This song has been ubiquitous in 2020 and little wonder: it’s dance-pop magic, with a funky bassline, house beat, 80’s nods and sweeping strings. Lyrically, Lipa was inspired by the initial stages of falling in love but thinking in the back of one’s mind, "this is too good to be true," and vocally it has quite a bit of range in terms of octave and tempo – which we don’t think Ntokozo will have any issues with
Zama: Calvin Harris & Rihanna – ‘This Is What You Came For’:
Zama is going to EDM this week in another switch-up that should thrill fans. This collaboration between two of the best-looking people in pop music is all synth arpeggios, breakdowns and build-ups, and it’s a bop with literally billions of YouTube views. Despite all the production fireworks (and all the processing on RiRi’s vocal), it’s actually relatively laidback, more tropical house than arena EDM, so Zama can slide into it rather than belt it out. Fun fact: the lyrics were penned by Taylor Swift!
ZanoThando: Chris Brown – ‘Loyal’:
It’s back to the streets for ZanoThando with a controversial song about unfaithful women – but also a song that was commercially massive. It’s an airy hip hop jam with glossy production from Nic Nac and a confident Breezy vocal, and the fact that it’s Brown may play into ZanoThando’s performance strengths.
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.