I’m so excited to be sharing this playlist that I’ve been putting together since my trip to South Africa. These songs became my life soundtrack over the course of the 10 days that I spent road tripping across the southern tip of Africa, but I’ve continued to listen to them since coming home. Music is such an important part of culture and there’s nothing like infusing your experience with local sounds to give you the full 360 degree experience — not to mention it provides a beautiful sense of nostalgia once you’ve returned home.
As Americans, we’re definitely not exposed to some of the amazing music that comes out of Africa as a whole, and I can’t wait to share these beautiful sounds with you. While there are plenty of incredibly talented South African bands that have very Westernized sounds, I tried to focus this list on sharing songs that take more influence from native African cultures. While much of the talent here is South African, there are also artists from Senegal, Mali and beyond — I also included a few tracks that aren’t by African-born artists but who’ve used inspiration from this continent to inspire the vocals in their work. It’s meant to be listened in order, but feel free to shuffle if that’s your jam. I hope you enjoy it!