Here's what they singing!
Berry: DJ Cleo ft. Mmatema – ‘Choose to be Happy’
Mmatema returns to Idols – sort of. Season 11’s runner-up does the heavy lifting on this pop-house gem from DJ Cleo, a tune that recalls Lebo Mathosa’s early 00’s solo highs. It’s all uplift, with plenty of space for improvisation, and it’ll be interesting to hear Berry straying away from the dramatic into something more straightforward – but it’s far from a simple assignment.
Bulelani: DJ Sumbody ft. Drip Gogo & The Lowkeys - ‘Iyamemeza’
A relatively sedate ‘piano number where, once again, the vocal is the key driver. Drip Gogo decorates the minimal backtrack with quick phrasing, key changes, and a wide range. Bulelani will have to be his brilliant best to deliver this one with aplomb.
Daylin Sass: Prince Kaybee ft. Ziyon – ‘Friend Zone’
An Idols guest judge returns with this tune for Daylin, originally sung by former Liquideep frontman Ziyon. A chunky and jazzy slice of Afro-house, the challenge for Daylin is twofold: Ziyon is a superb singer and he’s comfortably relaxed and accomplished here, but there’s also a rapped verse – it’ll be a ‘Fairytale’ if Daylin nails it.
Ithana: Sun-El Musician ft. Msaki – ‘Ubomi Abumanga’
An atmospheric stunner from Sun-El Musician with subtle shades of bubblegum. It’s also a simple summer deep house gem where, once again, the vocal is front and centre (Msaki’s dad was a DJ, so she’s in her zone). It’s restrained as well though, so Ithana needs to imbue it with some energy – and some moves wouldn’t go amiss.
Karabo: DJ Cleo ft Bucy Radebe – ‘Gcina Yami’
This fusion of amapiano and traditional choral styles was an absolute smash for DJ Cleo and Bucy Radebe. It’s busy, brash and bold, and our brilliant backing singers will have a field day. But Karabo needs to stand out from these background antics – and with that massive voice, she sure could conquer.
Kevin: DJ Sumbody ft. Cassper Nyovest & Kaylow– ‘Piki Piki’
Amapiano checks in on gqom and borrows some broken beats and piercing sonic stabs. Cassper sings on this one (with a fair amount of auto-tune) but Kaylow also drops some summer lovin’ vocals. Kevin has been on a roll – this fun tune is perfect for a Performance (capital P).
Monique: Prince Kaybee ft Lady Zamar – ‘Charlotte’
Prince Kaybee was still on the come-up when he released this track – and it blew right up. It’s a delicious mix of the organic (guitar, bass and keys) and the electronic (percussion), but Lady Zamar’s vocals elevate the hell out of it. The subject matter is serious though, so Monique needs to sing it sincerely.
Nqobie: Sun-El Musician - ft. Samthing Soweto – ‘Akanamali’
THE tune of the summer of 2017, right? ‘Akanamali’ is also a near-perfect combo of dancefloor vehicle and divine vocal: driven and dynamic, soaked in sentimentality. No pressure on Nqobie, but if she can pull this one off she’ll be earning plenty of attention – and votes.
S’22kile: De Mthuda ft. Njelic & Boohle – ‘Wamuhle’
Proper deep amapiano vibes here, and while we can expect an abbreviated version (the original is 8 minutes), it’s also pretty epic. The vocals sit in the pocket on the verses and swell in the chorus, and the ad libs in the breakdown are huge and impressive from Boohle – S’22kile better come ready to stun.
Sia Mzizi: De Mthuda & Sir Trill ft. Da Muziqal Chef – ‘Emlanjeni’
De Mthuda has been proudly repping proper amapiano from day dot, and this is another singular song. The beat is basic, laidback and leisurely, so it’s the wildly variating vocal that provide the excitement – Sia Mzizi has both the texture and the range to make this one work, but A game is required.
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