Her debut album Redemption (2021), moves between soulful Afro House and deep spiritual trip hop and features Umlazi-born, self-taught Afro House producer and DJ, Enoo Napa on the title-track “Redemption”. As a frequent collaborator with various Afro House artists from all over Africa, AWEN’s incorporation of multiple genres and sonic elements into her music is testament to her constant growth and ongoing journey.
AWEN has also created an exclusive Isgubhu playlist that features tracks that fuel her musical fire and that showcase Africa’s rich dance music talent through the years.
“I had great fun curating the Isgubhu playlist for Apple Music. I included some timeless classics, such as Tony Allen’s ‘African Man’ just because those tunes paved the way for African dance music as we know it today. I also included some new gems from artists I love and admire such as Black Coffee, Sun El-Musician, Msaki and Black Motion; you will also find a few tunes from my album Redemption. What do all these tracks have in common? They all take from various influences to create a unique form of soulfulness that makes us feel more alive,” she tells Apple Music.
Taking over Isgubhu By… for this month is eSwatini-hailing electronic producer and deep house DJ, !Sooks (real name Sukoluhle Dlamini). Having been enthralled by African music and synth sound creation, !Sooks’ first milestone came when he released his debut EP, 7 Years of Colour (2016) under Antidote Music, quickly following this up with his second release, A Different Place (2016) under international label Deepstitched Records. Since then he’s blazed a unique trail while honing his ambient, moody groove.
“Growing up, my dad exposed me to a lot of amazing music, especially jazz, which inspired my love for music as a whole. This particular selection showcases my love for a variety of sounds within African dance music and it is this plethora of sounds that inspires my music production today. My selection for Apple Music features music from South Africa, Namibia and Eswatini, which to me shows the growth of African dance and electronic music. We have come of age and the sound has moved from the underground scene and has stepped into the mainstream through the advancement of Amapiano, Afro House and other emerging African dance music subgenres,” he explains.
Launched in early 2021, Isgubhu is the definitive home of African Dance and Electronic music on Apple Music and spotlights and elevates the work of African Electronic DJs, producers and creatives. Isgubhu, a Zulu word meaning beat and used to refer to a banging song, pays homage to an evergreen set of genres and the African artists who have played a pivotal role in shaping the Dance and Electronic scene across the world.
Isgubhu also houses a collection of playlists including Spotlight On – a focus on boutique labels like Soul Candi, House Afrika, Stay True Sounds, Uganda’s Hakuna Kulala & Nyege Nyege Tapes, Kenya’s Gondwana KE, and eSwatini’s Antidote Music, as well as Isgubhu Voices – a focus on the best Dance and Electronic tracks that feature vocals.
Listen to Isgubhu only on Apple Music http://apple.co/Isgubhu