Commentary from the Office: SA Top 40 (9 December 2020)

Download this week's chart here: Aggregated Chart-of-Charts 9xii20.

The ultra-cool 'Uthando' (Soa Mattrix, SoulfulG, Shaun101) cements its status as the breakout South African hit of the summer, with its most convincing performance so far. It outranks the new #2, 'Mali Eningi' (Big Zulu ft. Intaba Yase Dubai, Riky Rick), by an ff-index of 0.090 - a record for the #1 position. Such was the popularity of the track last week that, according to the Firefinch model, 'Uthando' actually outperformed 'Mali Eningi' by a score good enough for eight chart positions! 'Jerusalema' might have been the lockdown hit of choice, but 'Uthando' and 'John Vuli Gate' (this week at #6) are undoubtedly the sounds of South Africa's first phase of post-Covid summer recovery.

Although 'Uthando' retains the top position, it was another topsy-turvy week of movement on digital charts. This translates into some wild changes to the remainder of the chart. Interestingly, it is international releases that suffered the most, while local South African music surged up the charts.

'Mali Eningi' was last week a new entry at #31, but ascended 29 places to hit #2. The main reason for it's deficit to 'Uthando' is a poor week-on-week performance on Spotify, where it only ranked #38. In terms of ff-index, it improved from 0.357 last week to 0.090 this week, and impressive improvement which was nonetheless not enough to trouble the #1 position.

Other local success stories include a 25-place jump to #15 for 'uLazi' (Mr JazziQ ft. Zuma, Mpura, 9umba; ff-index = 0.234), which was a new entry last week; 'SummerYoMuthi' (Blaq Diamond; ff-index = 0.252), also a new entry last week, up 12 slots to #17; and the #18 track 'Sithi Sithi' (Reece Madlisa, Zuma ft. Mr JazziQ, Busta 929; ff-index = 0.255) up 17 places from a new entry last week. 'Dinaledi' (Major League Djz, Abidoza ft. Mpho Sebina) is up seven places to #7, after smashing its way up the chart by a massive 23 places last week. For all the 'Bella Ciao' watchers out there, the Firefinch office anthem is up four more positions in its digital resurgence to #15. There is no hiding the fact that this re-imagination of an anti-fascist Italian anthem has regained traction on South African digital platforms.

Jub Jub's 'Ndikhokhele' suffered a further loss of nine positions, and has lost a total of 20 places over the past two weeks. A position of #25 is a far cry from its #2 status three weeks ago. It joins a host of international tracks to tumble in the South African charts, including 'Monster' (Justin Bieber, Shawn Mendes; down seven to #12 after NE status last week), 'Holy' (Justin Bieber ft. Chance the Rapper; down twelve places to #21), 'you broke me first' (Tate McRae; down eleven to #22), 'Dynamite' (BTS; down nine to #31); and 'POPSTAR' (DJ Khaled ft. Drake; down twelve to #39). In fact, the only international release to fare well this week was Lil Naz X's 'HOLIDAY', up ten positions to #9 from new entry status last week.

The late Pop Smoke's sojourn in the South African charts appears to be coming to an end, with two tracks falling out the Top 40 altogether: 'For the Night' (ft. Lil Baby, DaBaby) is at #42, while 'What You Know Bout Love' falls 15 places to #51. Now 'Mood Swings' is all that remains in the Top 40, positioned this week at #26.

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