Does Spotify have Afrikaans music?

Spotify is a popular music streaming service that launched in 2008. It gives users access to over 82 million songs and 4 billion playlists [1]. Spotify has grown to become one of the largest music libraries in the world.

Afrikaans music is a genre that originated in South Africa. It is sung in the Afrikaans language which derives from 17th century Dutch settlers. Some defining characteristics of Afrikaans music are its upbeat tempo, storytelling lyrics, and distinctive instruments like the concertina and banjo [2]. It encompasses several styles like vastrap, langarm, and boeremusiek. Afrikaans music has grown in popularity beyond South Africa, especially among Afrikaans-speaking communities.

What is Afrikaans Music?

Afrikaans music originated in South Africa in the early 20th century alongside the development of the Afrikaans language. As the language grew in popularity, especially among the working class, so did original songs written and performed in Afrikaans.

Some of the most popular genres of Afrikaans music include:

  • Boeremusiek – Traditional folk music with accordian, concertina, and violin.
  • Afrikaanse musiekrock – Afrikaans rock music that emerged in the 1980s.
  • Bok van Blerk – A contemporary mix of pop, rock, and folk.
  • Volksliedjies – Folk and traditional songs.

Afrikaans music continued to evolve over the 20th century, incorporating diverse influences like jazz, blues, and pop. The protest music of the Apartheid era was also often performed in Afrikaans. Overall, Afrikaans music reflects the cultural identity and lived experiences of Afrikaans speakers in South Africa.

Popularity of Afrikaans Music

Afrikaans music has a devoted following in South Africa, where it accounts for around 25-30% of music listened to locally. According to Omdia’s South Africa Music Industry Update from January 2024, Afrikaans music still holds the second largest share of music listened to in South Africa, behind Zulu at 35-40% (Omdia, 2024). While globally niche, Afrikaans music punches above its weight in its home market.

The Afrikaans segment has proven resilient, maintaining a 20-30% share of listenership over the past few years according to market research. Back in 2022, Omdia already reported Afrikaans holding an approximately 30% share of the South African music market (Omdia, 2022). Though local in popularity, Afrikaans music remains an important part of the national music identity of South Africa.

Afrikaans Artists on Spotify

Spotify features an extensive collection of top Afrikaans artists that users can enjoy. Here are some of the most popular Afrikaans musicians found on Spotify:

  • Bok van Blerk – Bok van Blerk is one of the biggest names in contemporary Afrikaans pop/rock music. He has released several successful albums on Spotify.
  • Karen Zoid – Known for her alternative rock sound, Karen Zoid has multiple albums and hits available to stream.
  • Johannes Kerkorrel – Regarded as a pioneer in Afrikaans alternative/indie music, Kerkorrel’s catalog is available on Spotify.
  • Fokofpolisiekar – This iconoclastic Afrikaans rock band has built a large streaming audience on Spotify.
  • Kurt Darren – For mainstream Afrikaans pop, Kurt Darren is one of the most streamed and followed artists.
  • Steve Hofmeyr – A popular and prolific Afrikaans folk/pop singer, Hofmeyr has a deep discography on Spotify.
  • Nataniel – This neo-soul/R&B singer-songwriter has become a crossover Afrikaans success.
  • Jeremy Loops – Blending folk, hip hop and alt-rock, Jeremy Loops has developed an international following.

This is just a sampling of the many leading Afrikaans acts that can be found on Spotify. The streaming service offers a broad selection of Afrikaans pop, rock, folk and other genres.

Finding Afrikaans Music on Spotify

Spotify makes it easy for users to find Afrikaans music. The streaming service has a dedicated “Afrikaans Radio” playlist featuring 50 popular Afrikaans songs. There is also a user-generated “Shameel Afrikaans Music Radio” playlist with 50 tracks.

In the Spotify search bar, users can search for “Afrikaans” or “Afrikaanse musiek” to find relevant artists, albums, songs, and playlists. The streaming service has an official “The Sound of Afrikaans Hip Hop” playlist showcasing popular hip hop artists. There are also many user-generated playlists for specific Afrikaans music genres and artists.

For endless streaming music, Spotify offers the “Afrikaans Radio” station under Genres & Moods. This provides a personalized mix of Afrikaans hits. Users can also follow Afrikaans artists and songwriters to be notified of new releases.

Limitations and Gaps

While Spotify does offer a good selection of Afrikaans music, there are some notable gaps in their catalog. Some of the most famous Afrikaans artists missing from Spotify include Kurt Darren, Chris Chameleon, Bok van Blerk, and Robbie Wessels. These musicians have huge followings in South Africa, so their absence is felt by fans looking for their albums and songs.

There are a few potential reasons for these limitations:

  • Some artists or record labels may choose not to put their music on streaming platforms like Spotify.
  • Regional licensing restrictions may prevent certain albums or songs from being available globally.
  • Spotify’s music deals may not extend to lesser-known international or niche genres.
  • Uploading comprehensive back catalogs takes time, so newer platforms may still be catching up.

While Spotify has made big strides in expanding its music library, there are still gaps when it comes to finding a full selection of beloved Afrikaans artists. Fans hope these limitations and regional restrictions get addressed over time as streaming services continue expanding.

User Experience

Overall, Spotify provides a good user experience for finding and listening to Afrikaans music according to user reviews. The streaming service makes it easy to search for Afrikaans artists, albums, songs or playlists using keywords or by browsing genre categories like “Afrikaans Pop” or “Afrikaans Rock.”

Once Afrikaans content is found, the interface allows seamless streaming or downloading for offline listening. Reviews praise Spotify for its extensive catalog of both popular and niche Afrikaans artists. Users mention the ability to discover new Afrikaans music through personalized recommendations and curated playlists.

However, some users note difficulty finding more traditional or folk Afrikaans genres. The interface caters more to contemporary pop, rock and hip hop. Users suggest improvements like adding filters or advanced search to better surface specific Afrikaans styles. But overall, Spotify offers a smooth, enjoyable way to access Afrikaans music.

Recent Developments

In recent years, Spotify has made a concerted effort to expand its catalog of Afrikaans music. In August 2022, Spotify South Africa launched a new campaign celebrating Afrikaans music on the platform, indicating the company’s commitment to growing its Afrikaans offerings.

As part of this initiative, Spotify has added many new Afrikaans releases to its catalog. The company has partnered with major Afrikaans record labels like Universal Music and Gallo Music to obtain licensing for top Afrikaans albums and songs. Spotify has also worked directly with leading Afrikaans artists to get their latest music on the platform.

In addition to new releases, Spotify has been uploading many older and classic Afrikaans albums to help round out their selection. This includes music from Afrikaans folk and rock icons like Koos du Plessis, Anton Goosen, and Fokofpolisiekar.

According to Lindsey Rayner, Spotify has seen exponential growth in the Afrikaans genre in recent years, leading to increased focus on expanding their Afrikaans catalog (source). With major partnerships and licensing deals, Spotify aims to become the premier destination for Afrikaans music streaming.


While Spotify offers a good selection of Afrikaans music, there are some other streaming platforms and dedicated Afrikaans music services that users may want to consider as alternatives.

Some other popular music streaming platforms like Apple Music and YouTube Music also have collections of Afrikaans songs and albums available. Though the libraries may not be as extensive as Spotify’s, they provide alternative options for streaming Afrikaans music.

There are also a few dedicated Afrikaans music streaming services to consider. offers a free online Afrikaans radio with a variety of stations and programs. For a paid subscription fee, provides access to a large library of Afrikaans music organized by genre, era, and more. These services cater specifically to Afrikaans music fans looking for expanded libraries and content.

So while Spotify offers a sizable catalog of Afrikaans music, users interested in more niche selections or expanded libraries may want to explore some of these alternative streaming platforms and services focused solely on Afrikaans content.


In summary, Afrikaans music has a vibrant history and devoted following within South Africa. While not as widely known globally, Afrikaans artists like Die Antwoord, Jeremy Loops, and Jack Parow have achieved mainstream success. Spotify offers a decent selection of popular Afrikaans musicians across genres like pop, rock, rap, and folk.

Searching by artist name or song title can surface Afrikaans tracks, though browsing by genre may not always surface Afrikaans results. Playlists like “Viral 50 South Africa” and “South African Hits” showcase current hits in Afrikaans alongside English. However, Spotify’s Afrikaans catalog likely doesn’t represent the full breadth and diversity of the genre.

Minor gaps exist, such as missing albums or tracks from some artists. The user experience could be improved with an Afrikaans-specific genre page or better tagging. But overall, Spotify provides a good starting point for exploring Afrikaans music digitally.

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