12 Most Popular South African Record Labels

South Africa has always been known as one of the best country in Africa when it comes to music, starting from the 19th century when we have top stars like Lucky Dube, Miriam MakebaBrenda Fassie, Chaka Chaka and many others. This time around mybiohub have decided to list the music record labels in this great country that’s mixed with people of different races following so many requests from our visitors. They have many record labels and we will list them gradually with some details about each of them.

1. Gallo Record Company 
According to Wikipedia, its one of the largest and also oldest record label in South Africa. It is owned by Times Media Group (formerly Johnnic Communications and Avusa) and was founded by Eric Gallo in 1926 , yes that’s almost a 100 years ago. One of its notable member late West Nkosi was a top producer and he helped introduced top artists like  Ladysmith Black Mambazo (1972), The Green Arrows (1974), Mpharanyana and the Cannibals (1976), and Amaswazi Emvelo (1978). Others include Mahlathini and the Mahotella Queens, Miriam Makeba, Hugh Masekela, Lucky Dube, Thandiswa Mazwai and Stimela.



2. CashTime Music Company 
This is another powerful South African record label, having some of the present big names in the country makes it an outstanding label in the list. CashTime Life which happens to be a Music Publishing and Entertainment Company and it consists of  K.O (rapper), Ma-E, DJ Vigilante, Maggz and Masandi (R&B singer). This company has been active since 2010 to present.

3. Kalawa Jazmee Records 
Founded in 1992 by Oskido, Christos Katsaitis(left in 1995) and Don Laka, this recording label is really a big one too, having a large social media presence. They were lucky, because their first signing was Boom Shaka a really talented kwaito music group. Here’s the list of Kalawa Jazmee Records artists;

Oskido
Heavy K
Professor
Busiswa
Black Motion
Infinite Boys
Dr Malinga
Uhuru

4. Mountain Records
This record label made mybiohub list and it was founded by Patrick Lee-Thorp in 1980. They later had an office in Germany in 1996. Mountain Records helped facilitated the release or distribution of non-label South African acts such as Brenda Fassie, Philip Tabane and the Soul Brothers.


Read: Africa – Top 17 Most Popular Nigerian Record Labels

5. Ghetto Ruff 
Ghetto Ruff focuses on kwaito, hip hop, soul, house, gospel and rhythm and blues. This South African independent recording label came into existence towards the end of 1980s during the time in which Lance Stehr who is also the current Managing Director of the label formed the Cape Town-based hip hop group, Prophets of Da City. The artists under this record label are many, see the list below;

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Amu (rapper)
Bishop Louis
Bongani Fassie
Bravo (band)
Brickz
BVK : Brasse Vannie Kaap
DJ Cleo
Drencko
FIESTA BLACK
Gumshev
Ishmael
Jozi
Kyllex
Malik
Mchangani
Metswako
Mgarimbe
Morafe
NATHI
POC : Prophets Of Da City
RJ Benjamin
RUFF X
Skomplazi
Slice
Spykos
Tuks Senganga
VUSI NOVA
Zola
37MPH aka Mpho Pholo (Music Producer/Artist)


6. David Gresham Records
As the name goes so is the name of the owner David Gresham who in 1972 started this amazing company which has become the longest running independent record company in South Africa. This company is great because they own many other things such as a separate DVD movie division, and a separate import division, including the largest chill out/lounge series, ‘Hotel Costes’ and ‘Buddha Bar’.

7. Gut Feel Records
Another great South African recording company that made mybiohub list is none other than Gut Feel Records. Their main focus is promoting forward thinking artists and experimental, progressive dance music.


8. House Afrika Records
House Afrika Records  came to be in 1994 and its owned by Tim White, Vinny Da Vinci and Glenn Van Loggerenburg.





9. Mabala Noise Entertainment 
Here comes the new recording labels that’s making waves in South Africa. Founded in 2015 by Reggie Nkabinde and DJ Bongz with its location in Johannesburg, this new label have claimed most of the biggest stars currently topping the music charts. Here’s the list of artists signed to Mabala Noise Entertainment;

Nasty C
Zakwe
Khanyi Mbau
Kay Sibiya
Letoya Makhene
Lvovo Derrango
Du Boiz
LeAnne Dlamin
Ann Singer
Mroza
Thokozani Langa
Mbali Nkosi
Ms Jones

10. Family Tree Records 
The new wave is still moving with this great music label, mybiohub team got to discover that the owner and the CEO of this powerful recording label is Cassper Nyovest. Its an independent company and was founded in 2014. It used to be home to this artists Chad Da Don, Gemini Major, Edict mc and Home b. Their website is familytreeworld.co.za.

11. Pioneer Unit Records 
Independent record label that was registered in 2007 but was unofficially founded by Damian Stephens AKA Dplanet in 2005. Their sound is a combination of classic East Coast Hip Hop, Detroit Techno, Dancehall, Dub, Grime and Electro.

12. Sheer Sound 
Founded in November 1994 by Damon Forbes after being fed up with limited vision of his industry. He’s a lover of Jazz and that’s what the label concentrates on. Other genres they operate on are; Rock and Afro pop.