How To Download South African Music

We do not support illegal music download, this is just an information for those that may need to know how to access music in South Africa, both free or paid.

It is generally illegal to download music online in South Africa, however there are some artists that frequently release their music for free download, some of those artists include DJ Maphorisa, Kabza De Small, MFR Souls and generally most House, Amapiano and Gqom music rising artists.

Most radio and club DJs also release mixes and mixtapes from time to time and for some reasons these are offered for free downloads, it could be for promotional reasons and it could be because they do not have the rights to sell the compilation, mixtapes or mixes often include songs from many different artists that has not given the DJ rights to distribute the music. Djs also sample or mix music from other music artists in order to create their own, in cases like this, they only have rights to sell or distribute music created by sampling another song if the owner of the original song had granted them rights to do so.

When artist release music for free download and you are able to confirm that it is a free download, you can be rest assured that you are not doing anything illegal concerning the download, but when you download a song that is meant to be paid for, then you may be violating someone’s copyright.

The fact that you are offered song(s) for free download does not mean you own all rights to the song. You have only listening rights, all other rights still belongs to the creator or whomever he/she have signed a deal of ownership with.

Why do people look for free downloads?

A sad truth is that some people do visit illegal music download sites even though they are fully aware that it is illegal to download copyrighted material but most people that visit illegal music download in South African actually do not know that it is illegal, they feel like since they have paid for the data used in downloading the music, that means they are actually supporting the artist, but in reality, artists do not get paid for these free downloads by the telecommunication companies for using data to download unauthorized music.

Another reason is that some people cannot afford the monthly subscription on digital music streaming platforms or they cannot afford mobile phones/gadgets that is powerful enough to operate the streaming applications out there.

Frequent music listeners that visit free download sites in South Africa are within the age of 14-24, mostly people in this age range are students that cannot afford to use their extra money on music, another option for them would be to wait for the radio stations to play the music they love which may never happen if their favourite artist is not a mainstream artist.

Lets not leave the fact that some people do download free music in south Africa just because they can and because they know the consequences are not seriously enforced. Since they can get away with illegal download without being punished, they don’t bother to buy or verify the lega, even if they can afford it.

Why would an artist release music for free download?

Some artists have identified that some of their fans may not be able to afford their music and there are so many reasons to that, this could be because of the expensive internet data charges, their phone is not the new generation type that can handle streaming services or they just can’t afford the monthly subscription for most streaming services. Artists that are not mainstream also don’t get played on radio stations, so that option is not even there for the upcoming artists to showcase their talent, they need to find ways to reach their audience and attract new ones. For these and many more reasons artist may decide to release music for free download or both free and paid downloads so that the ones that cannot afford to buy or the ones that are not aware they exist would also gain access to the music.

Most established artists rarely release music for free download, the reason being that, they have enough audience that would buy their music and they feel like they have done all the ground work and hard labour to attain that mainstream status, most of the established artists started off by offering their music for free download then stop when they have gained popularity. A few offer music for free because they recognise that not every one can afford the music and they like to reach everyone.

How do artists make money while offering music for free download?

Ths simple answer is that, they directly don’t. But when artists offer their music for free download, they extend their reach to people that cannot afford to buy the music, these people become fans when they like the music and through word of mouth, they spread the gospel of their favourite artists. So in exchange for popularity, artist may offer songs for free download.

Even though some cannot afford to pay for monthly subscription or paid downloads, they can save up to attend shows, concerts or even buy merchandises from their favorite artists, so indirectly  artists still make money from their free download offerings but the artists will not feel a big impact of this free downloads offerings until they have been able to penetrate the market enough to make big sales.

The word of mouth that preaches the artist’s gospel around by fans that have gained access to their music through free download also comes as a form of advertisement which could cost the artist some fortune if done the traditional way.

A recent example is DJ Maphorisa and Kabza De Small’s strategy of promoting their concert by releasing a free album named after the event. The album saw over one million downloads within a week, this album was also available to be streamed on paid platforms for those that can afford or are subscribed to those platforms, this way nobody is left out. Using this strategy DJ Maphorisa and Kabza do not need much marketing budget as they have been able to reach over a million of their audience using the talent they have, use what you have to get what you need. Even though this album was made available for free, both artists can still make money from streaming and their big concert.

Popular artists tend to get booked for shows, concerts and gigs more often than the unpopular ones because of the fanbase they have been able to acquire over time, the huge fanbase gives event and show organisers a signal of high ticket sales, which is how they earn their money. Artist gets paid, tickets are sold, organiser makes money from tickets, refreshments and drinks, fans gets to see their favourite artists and everyone is happy.

Endorsements also comes knocking on the doors of big artists with huge fanbase, so companies and corporate organisations pay huge amount of money to artists to endorse their products.

The simple answer is, free download offerings can be used as a tool for penetration in order to gain attention of the majority and in return artists get the benefit of his popularity.

How do you access paid and free mp3 download websites?

These days, artists capitalize on their social media page to announce their new releases as they are followed by their fans in order to get updates and be one of the first to be informed about the artist’s latest music release. Whether free music download, stream, paid download e.t.c, artists do post links to their latest music when they are out.

As a lover of music or most especially as a fan of an artist, to be safe and understand whether what you are downloading is to be purchased, limited free access, legal download or not, you need to research, find and follow your favorite artists on their social media pages, this way you have access to web and App links whenever they release new songs.

If you don’t want to follow artists on their social media page and still like to gain access to their music, you can subscribe to their music channel on various download and streaming platform in order to be notified when they have a new music out. Most free music download platforms in South Africa are illegally distributing music except a few that are very mindful of what they provide for free download, an example is Slikouronlife and Hitvibes.

Some reputable free mp3 download websites:

Slikouronlife has personal and direct relationship with music artists, the owner of the online music platform used to be a music artists as part of a popular hip-hop group known as Skwatta Kamp and he understands the ethics of music distribution, you can be sure that all music offered for free downloads on this platform are legally sourced by Slikour to be available for the website visitors. We understand that artists get paid for free downloads on the platform but we are unable to confirm that. The platform offer a whole range of content in form of interviews, artists breakout, news and consultancy. Slikour focuses only on Hip-hop music. To download on slikouronlife, visit the website download section here: Slikouronlife

Hitvibes is another relatively reputable website that offers free music download, the owners of this website follows almost all South African artists on their social media and is able to get first-hand download/buy/stream link when a new song is out, the website editors also use other sources such as direct contact with artists. The website basically does what music fans are supposed to do, this way it is able to aggregate all latest music release information and make it available on the website, you will find a mix of free download, streaming and paid download links on Hitvibes. The website is know as one of the best when it comes to music reviews and music content creations. Unlike Slikouronlife, Hitvibes does more than only hip-hop music, you can find house, gqom, amapiano and many more musical content on the website. Visit Hitvibes download section of the website to find free downloads, paid downloads, stream and many more.

Paid mp3 download and stream websites:

You can stream or download most of these songs for if you are subscribed to all major digital music platform including Apple Music, Spotify, Deezer, Boomplay, Beatport, Mixcloud, Traxsource. It all depends on the type of music you listen to, how you like to consume music and how much you can pay for your music. For example Apple Music and Spotify offers a whole range of music but you need to use their app in order to stream previously downloaded songs, even though they are available on your phone and consume some space.

To stream or download mp3 for later stream without internet connection you can use these platforms:

These platforms offers a whole range of music from popular and upcoming artists, they are good for single tracks and album and they offer the possibility to download the songs to your phone so that you can stream later without internet connection. but they are not very good when it comes to mixes and mixtapes due to legalities surrounding music of such nature and availability.

Apple Music (Fully paid)

Spotify (Paid and free with advertisement)

Deezer (Unlimited free and paid options)

Tidal (Fully paid)

Boomplay (Unlimited free and paid options)


To buy the song and own it for streaming anytime without using any app:

On these platform you can buy and download music to your devices, you only need internet connection for the first download and you will have access to unlimited streaming on your device with or without the platforms as the song will be physically available on your phone.



Google Play

Unlimited free streaming services:

On the platform listed below you have access you unlimited free stream from DJs, music artists and music producers. All you have to do is sign up and subscribe to artists you like to listen to or simply just search for music and listen for free. Even though songs are for free streaming, you need internet access to access songs on these platforms at any given time. (Mostly for free mixes and mixtapes and instrumentals)

Mixcloud (Mostly for DJ mixes and instrumentals)

Soundcloud (For songs, albums, mixtapes, mixes and instrumentals)

Audiomack(For songs, albums, mixtapes, mixes and instrumentals)

Bandcamp (Listen to and download unlimited music and support artists)

South African free mp3 download websites with unverified legality:

To gain access to free music download with unverified legality, there are 100s of South African music website that offers that, it’ll be hard to differentiate between illegal and legal downloads on these platforms. Even though some artists release music for free download, and some do for just a limited period of time, majority wants to make money from their craft because this is their only source of income. The platforms listed below somehow have a way of posting link to songs that are either available for free or paid download. We have seen artists in the past lash out on social media claiming these websites has posted their songs for free download without authorization. Some artists understand why people lookout for free illegal downloads and some simply don’t support it. find below some sites where you can find free music download links:


You can find more here by just simply searching Google for “Free SA Music Download”

Disadvantages of illegal downloads

  • You may be fined or go to jail if caught bacause it is illegal.
  • Artists loose motivation when they can’t optimize their gains.
  • Most free download sites are not allowed to be monitized by high paying advert networks, so out of despiration they rely on low paying and low quality monetization methods which often comes with malwares and viruses that can affect your phone/computer when you visit those websites.
  • You risk being bombarded with too many advertisements.
  • You sometimes don’t get the best quality version of the music.
  • You are not supporting the music industry
  • It is not sustainable

Remember that not all free downloads are illegal, some artists do release their songs for free download, just a little research will reveal whether a song/album you are about to download is free or meant to be purchased. Some songs are not even available for purchase or paid streaming. To be safe, it is advisable to check popular streaming services like Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer e.t.c first and just pay for the music to support the art. Why not just pay a monthly fee to access unlimited songs instead of having to go through all the legal complexity surrounding free downloads.



One Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button