African Music Culture

10 Most Popular South African Musicians in 2023

Master KG
Written by Abraham Odhiambo

Who are the most popular South African musicians in 2023? Underneath the rich cultural heritage and natural beauty, South Africa has a thriving music industry. From traditional to modern, South African music has something for everyone. And that’s why artists from South Africa have been wowing audiences all across the world, not just in their own country.

Music lovers have long loved, cried, lived, and danced to the rhythms of South African beats. Well, it’s not surprising that these musicians are also among the wealthiest individuals in Africa. Without any further ado, here is a list of the most popular South African Musicians in 2023:

1. Master KG

Master KG

Master KG. Photo/ CNN.

We can’t talk about the most popular South African musicians and fail to mention Master KG. Born Kgaogelo Moagi, Master KG is a musician and record producer who has won 16 awards and received over 25 nominations. The 27-year-old has two studio albums to his name. He released his debut album “Skeleton Move” in 2018, which won him the AFRIMA award for best artist in the African Electro category.

2. Nasty C

Nsikayesizwe David Junior Ngcobo, also known as Nasty C, is one of the biggest stars in the South African music industry. Nasty C is a rapper, record producer and songwriter. He started rapping at the age of nine and some of his biggest tunes include “SMA”, “All In”, “Lemons” and “Philo”. As of now, the 26-year-old has three studio albums and has bagged six awards.

3. Kabza De Small 

Kabelo Petrus Motha, popularly known as Kabza De Small, was born on 27 November 1992 in Mpumalanga, South Africa. He began his solo career and gained worldwide recognition after releasing his debut studio album “Umshove” in 2018. Aside from his solo career, the 30-year-old is a member of the Scorpion Kings. Kabza is a major figure in the amapiano genre of house music, which has taken the world by a storm.

Kabza De Small

Kabza De Small. Photo/ Ubetoo.

4. DJ Maphorisa 

The list of the most popular South African musicians is incomplete without mentioning DJ Maphorisa, whose full name is Themba Sonnyboy Sekowe. Maphorisa is a South African DJ, record producer, singer, and songwriter. Some of his hit tracks include Ba Straata, Abalele, Banyana, Shona Kwelange and Izolo.

5. Black Coffee

Nkosinathi Innocent Maphumulo, popularly known as DJ Black Coffee, is a record producer, DJ and songwriter from South Africa. DJ Black Coffee has been a prominent figure in South Africa’s music industry for over twenty years. The 47-year-old established his own record label Soulistic Music, and released his eponymous album, Black Coffee.

6. Cassper Nyovest 

Refiloe Maele Phoolo, better known by his stage name Cassper Nyovest, is a songwriter, rapper and record producer from South Africa. According to Briefly, Cassper is one of the most successful artists in the southern part of Africa. Apart from being a musician, the 32-year-old is also an amateur boxer and entrepreneur.

Cassper Nyovest

Cassper Nyovest. Photo/ Unorthodox Reviews.

7. Mafikizolo 

Mafikizolo is a an Afro-pop duo from South Africa consisting of composer Theo Kgosinkwe and lead singer Nhlanhla Nciza. They gained fame after releasing the singles “Ndihamba Nawe kuphela”, “Kwela Kwela”, “Sibongile”, “Udakwa Njalo”. Their self-titled album was released in 1999, three years after the band was formed.

8. Prince Kaybee 

Prince Kaybee is one of the most popular South African musicians right now. Born on 15 June 1989, Kaybee rose to fame after releasing his hit singles “Friend Zone”, “Banomoya” and “Yonkinto”. As of 2023, Prince Kaybee has over ten studio albums to his name and has performed on big stages locally and internationally alongside other top musicians.

9. Elaine

Ndivhuwo Elaine Mukheli, known to many as Elaine, is an R&B singer and songwriter from Pretoria, South Africa. Elaine is just 24 and has already achieved a lot in the music industry. She self-released her debut EP called Elements in September 2019 while studying law at the University of the Witwatersrand. Some of her hit songs include “Loving You”, “You’re the One”, “Changes” and “I Just Wanna Know”.

10. AKA 

Despite passing on earlier this year, record producer and rapper AKA is still ranked among the most popular South African musicians. AKA, whose full name is Kiernan Jarryd Forbes, caught the attention of the music world after releasing his single “Victory Lap”. He was assassinated on 10 February 2023 on Florida Road in Durban by a gunman.


Rapper AKA. Photo/ Student Room.

Who are The Top 10 Musicians in Africa?

  1. Davido
  2. Wizkid
  3. Tiwa Savage
  4. Burna Boy
  5. Diamond Platnumz
  6. 2Face Idibia
  7. Fally Ipupa
  8. Sarkodie
  9. Yemi Alade
  10. Sho Madjozi

Who are The Most Famous Singers in South Africa?

  1. Miriam Makeba
  2. Dave Mathews
  3. Yolandi Visser
  4. Theuns Jordaan
  5. Brenda Fassie

Who is The Most Successful Musician in South Africa?

  1. Master KG
  2. Nasty C
  3. DJ Maphorisa
  4. DJ Black Coffee
  5. Kabza De Small

Who is the Best Singer in South Africa 2023?

  1. Nasty C
  2. Master KG
  3. DJ Black Coffee
  4. Kabza de small
  5. Prince Kaybee

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About the author

Abraham Odhiambo

Abraham Odhiambo is a writer with interests in nature, travel, African safari and sports. I'm pursuing a bachelor's degree in Media and Communication at Egerton University.

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