Commentary from the Office: SA Top 40 (2 December 2020)

Download the latest chart here: Aggregated Chart-of-Charts 2xii20.


'Uthando' (Soa Mattrix, SoulfulG, Shaun101) recovers a place this week to reclaim the South African #1 position from Billie Eilish's 'Therefore I Am'. Eilish sees her new single drop a place in digital popularity, settling at #2 after only a week in the top slot.

The three biggest stories this week are multiple new entries (just in time for December), big losses for some established tracks, and big gains for others. In other words, the past week as seen some big movement on the chart, and it will be interesting to see how these trends develop as South Africa heads into its traditional summer holiday month.

There are a total of seven new entries into the Top 40, with the highest coming in at #5 ('Monster', Shawn Mendes & Justin Bieber). Other notable NEs for the week include 'HOLIDAY' (Lil Naz X; #19) and 'SummerYoMuthi' (Blaq Diamond, #29). 'SummerYoMuthi' is certainly a track to watch, a surefire December hit that has been bolstered by it's beach-braai-and-yacht music video. Of general interest is 'Life Goes On' by BTS, which hit #1 on Billboard's Hot 100 only yesterday, and sits at #38 in South Africa.

The injection of so much new material inevitably means that many tracks have lost places. By far, the most important track to take a beating this past week is 'Ndikhokhele', the remake-single by Jub Jub featuring an ensemble cast of guest artists. It peaked two weeks ago at #2, then dropped to #5 in last week's chart. This week it loses a further 11 positions, coming in at #17. Jub Jub and company have amassed around 3.5 million combined YouTube views for audio and music video versions of the track on the video-streaming side of the YouTube platform. Regardless of the dip in digital audio streaming popularity, Jub Jub has been capitalising with multiple media appearances over the past week. His return to the local music industry is already a success.

Some tracks, however, have made significant gains. Last week, 'Bella Ciao' (Tyler ICU, Nicole Elocin, Kabza De Small, DJ Maphorisa) was a re-entry at #24. This week, the strong resurgence continues with a six-place gain to #18. 'Dinaledi' (Major League Djz, Abidoza ft. Mpho Sebina) was a new entry last week at #37, and has seen strong digital performance to hit #14 this week - an ascent of 23 spots. This is the biggest gain by a Top 40 track this week.

'WAP' (Cardi B ft. Meghan Thee Stallion) follows its two slot gain last week with another position improvement, moving up to #6. The outrageously infectious 'Head & Heart' (Joel Corry ft. MNEK) is down four positions, probably the highest profile loss in the Top 20 after Jub Jub. The ff-index shows that 'The Business' and 'you broke me first' have stagnated in popularity, but remain strongly positioned in South African streaming consumption. Ariana Grande's 'positions' holds station at #4, while other tracks from the Positions album see moderate gains (#26 for 'pov', and #30 for '34+35').

There have been some casualties dropping out the of the Top 40. 'Dance Monkey', originally released in May 2019, finally falls off the list, losing ten positions to #44. 'Xola Moya Wam’' (Nocembo Zikode, Master KG) drops to #53. Another track with significant longevity to lose out this week is 'Roses (Imanbek Remix)' by SAINt JHN, dropping to #48. 'Roses' still receives constant radio play on Cape Town and Johannesburg urban radio, showing yet again that modern digital consumption trends are not enslaved to radio playlisting.

Leave a Comment

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