Celebrated South African fashion designer Thebe Magugu is making history by becoming the first African-based designer to take over Spotify’s Fashion Forward playlist. The playlist is a collection of songs that have inspired Magugu as a designer and an African, telling the story of his journey towards becoming one of the most celebrated South Africans in global fashion.
Magugu’s curated playlist includes the artists he listened to while developing his Autumn/Winter ‘23 Folklorics collection, a blend of familiar African sounds and a modern attitude. The 55-song playlist is an exploration of South African music featuring legends like Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse, Brenda Fassie, and Lebo Mathosa, to South Africa’s current musical obsession- Amapiano.
The playlist also offers an array of genres, including house music represented by the likes of Black Coffee, DJ Sbu, and DJ Cleo, Skwatta Kamp flying the Kwaito flag, and Kwesta and Cassper Nyovest bringing the Hip Hop flavour. Magugu’s playlist is an invitation to a journey of storytelling, an immovable facet of African culture, and a progressive way of expressing internal landscapes.
Spotify’s Fashion Forward playlist acknowledges the significance of music in fashion, bringing together the foremost tastemakers of these closely related worlds. The playlist has featured fashion designers and stylists, including Yoon Ahn, Brandon Blackwood, Bobby Wesley, No Sesso, Zerina Akers, and Misa Hylton.
According to Phiona Okumu, Head of Music for Spotify Sub-Saharan Africa, collaborating with creators like Thebe Magugu is one more innovative way that they highlight African creativity on the platform, and it’s exciting.
To celebrate the collaboration and the South African creativity that inspired it, Spotify will feature Magugu’s playlist on a billboard in New York City’s Times Square. Magugu is one of the most accomplished fashion designers in Africa, with his beautifully tailored pieces making waves globally. Artists like Burna Boy, Rihanna, and Miley Cyrus have all rocked Magugu looks, further showcasing the link between fashion and music in conquering global stages.
Thebe Magugu’s takeover of Spotify’s Fashion Forward playlist is a significant milestone for African creativity and representation in the global fashion and music industries. His curated playlist showcases the rich cultural heritage and the diversity of the African music scene, inspiring new audiences worldwide to discover and embrace African music and fashion.