Beyond Weddings: Tsa Manyalo music is growing on Spotify

Limpopo’s languages, Khelobedu, Sepedi, XiTsonga, and Tshivenda, continue to be precursors of its burgeoning music scene. The province’s music scene is enjoying increased visibility, with artists from the region achieving monumental success. However, until recently, this visibility did not include prominent Tsa Manyalo music artists Pleasure Tsa Manyalo and Maredi Maredi, whose music is gaining traction according to Spotify data.

Tsa Manyalo music, intrinsically linked to Sepedi weddings, is a vital part of the social fabric for many in Limpopo. Over the years, it has evolved into a powerful musical force. Deeply embedded in the province’s groove culture, Tsa Manyalo is a staple at celebrations and family gatherings, especially in Sepedi-speaking cities. It’s not uncommon to hear a Pleasure Tsa Manyalo or Maredi Maredi song, or any other popular Tsa Manyalo track, at a DJ set in a pub or event.

According to Spotify data, both Pleasure Tsa Manyalo and Maredi Maredi saw a peak in daily streams on December 25th and 31st, 2023. These peaks coincided with celebrations other than weddings, particularly between 4:00 PM and 7:00 PM. The increase began gradually around 2:00 PM and rose significantly from 4:00 PM onwards. Millennials are a major driver of this growth, with over 46% of listeners for each artist falling into this demographic. In terms of gender breakdown, Maredi Maredi’s audience skews male, with 60% of his listeners being male. Pleasure Tsa Manyalo, on the other hand, has a more balanced audience, with 56% female and 44% male listeners.

“South Africa’s diversity is visible in the music available on our platform. Beyond songs, there are playlists dedicated to highlighting various artists and music. Limpopo Way is one of them where both Pleasure Tsa Manyalo and Maredi Maredi shine brightly”, says Jodie Tabisher, Artist, Label and Partnerships Manager, South Africa.

On the other hand, surprisingly, given the popularity of Tsa Manyalo’s music and presumably a large Tsa Manyalo music audience in cities like Polokwane and Mokopane, one would expect users in these cities to stream Pleasure Tsa Manyalo and Maredi Maredi. However, Polokwane and Mokopane, where Sepedi is the main language, are not the top cities streaming either artist. Of the cities with a high population of Sepedi speakers, only Polokwane ranks in the top five. Surprisingly, the top five cities are dominated by populous cities: Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban, and Cape Town.

The dominance of Johannesburg and Pretoria in streaming these artists might be due to a sizable percentage of Sepedi-speaking people residing in both cities. Cape Town’s position in the top five, on the other hand, is less clear. It could possibly be the result of the popular television soap opera Skeem Saam on SABC 1 featuring Tsa Manyalo’s music in an episode on December 15th, 2023.

This episode likely caused the peak in average daily searches for “Tsa Manyalo,” Pleasure Tsa Manyalo, and Maredi Maredi on December 15th and 16th, 2023. Additionally, Maredi Maredi also saw a significant peak in searches on December 16th, 2023.

These two artists, along with other Limpopo acts making waves in the genre are included in Limpopo Way, Spotify’s playlist that has some of the hottest tracks from Limpopo’s finest.

Image Courtesy: Supplied

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