South African R&B

List of the Best South African R&B Artists

To the outside world, the genre of Afrobeat and Afropop has held the crown in Africa, but the music scene within the continent’s southern region, a music scene of South African R&B artists, has created some of the world’s best music. A variety of talent and a music scene that is solely distinctive to South Africa, the country nicknamed Mzansi has always produced world class talent, artists like Brenda Fassie, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, PJ Powers, Simphiwe Dana, Zahara and many more.

Throughout the years numerous genres in South Africa have thrived. Genres like Afropop, jazz, rock, represented by talents such as Dave Matthews Band and Karen Zoid, reggae, with artists like Lucky Dube, and various forms of dance and house music, often known as Amapiano, led by artists like Master KG, Sho Madjozi, Mandoza and Lira.  Not to leave out native genres solely distinct to specific regions of southern Africa, but South Africa’s music is in a world of its own.

Top 20 South African R&B Artists

South African R&B Artists Tyla

1. Tyla

Debuting in 2019 with the hit song “Getting Late,” the Johannesburg native has since found stardom in the world of R&B with the 2023 hit “Water.” Just getting her career off the ground, Tyla brings a mixture of pop, rhythm and blues, and afropop to South African R&B music.

Follow on Instagram: @Tyla and watch on YouTube: Tyla

2. Loyiso

Coming out of Eastern Cape, Loyiso has presented himself as one of the most soulful artists within South Africa’s music scene. Debuting during the late 2010s, but only after gaining a large following covering popular songs on YouTube and being a contestant on South Africa’s version of American Idol, Loyiso has produced popular tracks like “Seasons” and “Speak.”

Follow on Instagram: @Loyiso and watch on YouTube: Loyiso

South African R&B Singers Sjava

3. Sjava

Merging traditional South African culture with today’s sounds of hip-hop and R&B, Sjava is viewed as one of the best singers in the nation. From his feature on the Black Panther soundtrack with Reason on “Seasons” to the hit song “Umama” and his recent release of the album Ukhamba, Sjava has strong a resume to back up those claims.

Follow on Instagram: @Sjava and watch on YouTube: Sjava

4. Blaq Diamond

Blaq Diamond is a South African R&B and Afropop duo from the small city of Ladysmith. They debuted several years ago, and have created a long list of hits, including songs like “SummerYoMuthi,” “Messiah,” and “Ibhanoyi.”

Follow on Instagram: @Blaq Diamond and watch on YouTube: Blaq Diamond

South African R&B Artists Elaine

5. Elaine

Debuting in 2019 with the hit song “You’re the One,” which was the leading track to one the most successful South African R&B albums Elements, Elaine is one of South Africa’s best kept secrets. While initially from Pretoria, South Africa, Elaine’s trap, soul, R&B inspired music has traveled across the continent.

Follow on Instagram: @Elaine and watch on YouTube: Elaine

6. Mlindo the Vocalist

With Mlindo the Vocalist blending African traditions with today’s R&B, he has become a household name in South African music. Debuting during the late 2010s, Mlindo the Vocalist’s most celebrated work is the 2018 album of Emakhaya.

Follow on Instagram: @Mlindo the Vocalist and watch on YouTube: Mlindo the Vocalist

7. Ami Faku

Since her introduction during the late 2010s, the Gqeberha native has achieved a long list of accomplishments, becoming one of the shining up and coming South African R&B artists. A true talent, Ami Faku is best showcased on the featured tracks of “Abalele” and “Asibe Happy,” both with Kabza De Small, “Fatela” with Aymos, or “Phakade Lami” with Nomfundo Moh.

Follow on Instagram: @Ami Faku and watch on YouTube: Ami Faku

South African R&B Singers Shekhinah

8. Shekhinah

Shekhinah’s polished vocals have made her one of South Africa’s most beloved pop and R&B artists. She first appeared in 2017 with the song “Suited,” which has over 20 million views as of 2024. Reaching success with her debut single, Shekhinah has continued by producing two acclaimed albums, Rose Gold (2017) and Trouble In Paradise (2021).

Follow on Instagram: @Shekhinah and watch on YouTube: Shekhinah

9. Nomfundo Moh

Raised in the city of Ndwendwe, Afro-soul artist Nomfundo Moh arrived into the South African music scene in 2021 with the classic album Amagama, which featured hits “Soft Life,” “Phakade Lami,” “Lilizela.”

Follow on Instagram: @Nomfundo Moh and watch on YouTube: Nomfundo Moh

10. Zonke

Another soulful South African R&B artist, Zonke is a trailblazer among R&B singers, making her debut in the mid-2000s with the album Soulitary. Not until her third and fourth album did Zonke begin to become a star in the making. Ina Ethe (2011) and Work of Heart (2015) brought her talented to music lovers with the success of the two projects. She reached the top of the charts and won multiple awards since her debut.

Follow on Instagram: @Zonke and watch on YouTube: Zonke

11. Simmy

Debuting with the album Tugela Fairy in 2018, Simmy immediately stood out among South African R&B singers, as her versatility led her into various genres of R&B, house music, and neo-soul. Following her introduction, Simmy become known for hit tracks like “Umahlalela” and “Ngiyesaba.”

Follow on Instagram: @Simmy and watch on YouTube: Simmy

12. Tellaman

With a blend of R&B, soul, and hip-hop, Tellaman has expanded his artistry from his once hometown of Durban to across southern Africa. He debuted in 2016 with the mixtape Mind Vs Heart, but the 2019 album of God Decides, which featured hit singles like “Whipped” and “No Sharing,” landed him into the eyes of South African music fans.

Follow on Instagram: @Tellaman and watch on YouTube: Tellaman

13. Amanda Black

With her 2016 breakout album, Amazulu, Amanda Black immediately captured the hearts of music lovers. As her debut album was a true success, she continued to display her style of music deeply rooted in African culture with the 2019 classic album Power, which featured hits “Power,” “Hamba,” and “Vuka.”

Follow on Instagram: @Amanda Black and watch on YouTube: Amanda Black

14. Tresor

Originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Tresor made his music debut in 2015 with the album VII. His distinctive voice, often sung in English, Swahili, and French, bring a unique blend of cultural influences to South Africa’s music scene. While debuting in 2015, his most praised work were the albums Nostalgia (2019) and The Beautiful Madness (2017).

Follow on Instagram: @Tresor and watch on YouTube: Tresor

South African R&B Artists Rowlene

15. Rowlene

Rowlene is one of top rising South African R&B artists. Since stepping into the spotlight with her appearance on Nasty C’s song “Phases” in 2016, Rowlene has continued to make her presence known in the South African music scene. Her debut album was 2018’s The Evolution of a Robot, but her 2020 project 11:11 set the standard for her as an artist in the coming years.

Follow on Instagram: @Rowlene and watch on YouTube: Rowlene

16. Azana

Embracing her African heritage, Azana debuted in 2020 with the album Ingoma, blending elements of Afro-pop, soul, and traditional African music. Her most notable hits to date have been “Your Love,” “Lovers & Best Friends,” and “Zalabantu.”

Follow on Instagram: @Azana and watch on YouTube: Azana

17. Langa Mavuso

Creating timeless music alongside a soulful sound, Langa Mavuso made his introduction in 2017. His debut album, Langa, released in 2020, was highlighted by tracks like “Intliziyo,” “Pretend,” and “Mvula.”

Follow on Instagram: @Langa Mavuso and watch on YouTube: Langa Mavuso

18. LaSauce 

LaSauce first caught the public’s attention as part of the Ambitiouz Entertainment roster. She made her entrance into the music scene with her debut album, Broken Lipstick, released in 2017. The album featured the hit songs “Ncese” and “I Do.” Her 2020 project of Sindisiwe was another successful project, which included “Emafini” and “Njalo.”

Follow on Instagram: @LaSauce and watch on YouTube: LaSauce

19. Sbahle 

Sbahle first hit the scene with the single “Emlanjeni” in 2020. Even with a limited discography, it is easy to witness a star in the making, especially after listening to tracks like “Ngiyazifela,” “Easy,” and “Emlanjeni.”

Follow on Instagram: @Sbahle and watch on YouTube: Sbahle

20. Sishii

A relatively new voice in South African music, Sishii introduced himself in 2019 with the song “All Night.” Still an emerging R&B artist, Sishii has released two albums, A Night in The Hills (2023) and Sincerely Yours (2021), and gained much praise for the hit single “Either Way.”

Follow on Instagram: @Sishii and watch on YouTube: Sishii

Honorable Mention South African R&B Artists:

Nobuhle Instagram: @Nobuhle and YouTube: Nobuhle

The Big Hash Instagram: @The Big Hash and YouTube: The Big Hash

Berita Instagram: @Berita and YouTube: Berita

Lordkez Instagram: @Lordkez and YouTube: Lordkez

Ayanda Jiya Instagram: @Ayanda Jiya and YouTube: Ayanda Jiya

Kaien Cruz Instagram: @Kaien Cruz and YouTube: Kaien Cruz

Una Rams Instagram: @Una Rams and YouTube: Una Rams

Filah Lah Lah Instagram: @Filah Lah Lah and Youtube: Filah Lah Lah

Brenda Mtambo  Instagram: @Brenda Mtambo  and Youtube: Brenda Mtambo 

South African R&B Related Topics:

1 Top American Female R&B Singers

2 Top South African Rappers

3 Top Nigerian Afrobeat Artists

4 South African House Music: Top Amapiano Artists and DJs

5 Top 12 South African Fashion Brands

*No Order. The more popular artists that have a combination of the most followers, streams, views, and most recent releases are near the top.

*If any artists are missing from the list email

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