South Africa: Yaadt Music, a People's Expression


There is always a song, remixed by no-one-knows-who, playing in many of the Cape's spaces. It's music that has become a part of the culture of the communities who produce as well as consume it.

This story was first published in New Frame.

The history of yaadt music, a sound born in the Cape and its surrounding towns, is shrouded in obscurity and erasure - just like the history of the people to whom it belongs. It is made in communion. As a sound, yaadt is rooted in muscle-memory and expressed in action.

It is dancing to My Lady Soul and everyone singing "my leg is sore" instead. It is the sound of Tribal Blast and Debbie Gibson's Together for a While. It is the feeling of bending the lyrics to Meisie Kyk Hoe Lyk Jou Hare. There's a reason you can't find that yaadt mix of Heaven Knows on Spotify. Why that is so is perhaps best answered by the statement: "If you know, you know."

In one sense, yaadt is the music of an older generation, packaged anew. It's deeply contextual. DJ Cody Losper explains: "It's the music you listen to on Boxing Day when you go to...

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