Kyle Watson talks SA music influence and global trends ahead of ‘Ultra South Africa’

Kyle Watson is set to perform at Ultra 2024. Picture: Supplied

Kyle Watson is set to perform at Ultra 2024. Picture: Supplied

Published Feb 26, 2024


The anticipation is mounting as Kyle Watson, known for his dynamic and revolutionary music, gears up to unleash some serious vibes at “Ultra South Africa”.

A stalwart of the nation's music scene, Watson has etched his name onto the global stage with his unparalleled talent.

In an exclusive tête-à-tête ahead of his performance, we got into Watson's extraordinary journey in the music industry.

Reflecting on the far-reaching impact of South African music, Watson remarked: “I’ve been touring overseas since 2016 or so, and, especially in the last few years, the influence that SA music has had on the global scene has been really big.”

He sung the praises of genres like afro house and amapiano, which have captivated audiences worldwide, reshaping the landscape of dance music, particularly in markets like Europe.

Kyle Watson is set to perform at ULTRA 2024. Picture: SUPPLIED.

"Breaking out of SA as an artist can be challenging," Watson noted, "so it's fantastic to witness more acts gracing international clubs and stages."

Navigating the balance between artistic integrity and industry trends, Watson confessed: "For me, I think this is one of the trickiest elements of being an artist." He emphasised the significance of maintaining one's unique style while remaining attuned to the evolving musical currents.

Recalling cherished moments at his favourite venues and cities, Watson reminisced about the vibrant energy of Truth in Midrand and San Diego.

With a palpable excitement for forthcoming projects, including ventures with his record label, No Context, and appearances at Miami Music Week and various festivals, Watson is eager to debut fresh sounds born from a recent writing camp.

As he readies himself for “Ultra South Africa”, Watson eagerly anticipates reuniting with the local crowd and unveiling his latest musical creations.

“Since I live in the UK now I’m looking forward to seeing some familiar industry faces, but most of all getting in front of the SA crowd again and getting a chance to play some of my new music.

“It’s been a while!” Watson expressed.

Maintaining his profound connection with South Africa's music scene and community, Watson perceives “Ultra South Africa” as a platform to fortify these bonds and extend his global footprint.

Extending sage advice to burgeoning artists, Watson emphasized the importance of staying abreast of international trends, asserting: “Take note of what the international trends are. SA doesn’t get as much exposure to global acts as some other parts of the world so it’s easy to create and play just for the local scene.”

“I’ll always have a connection with the SA music scene in the sense that my primary market for over a decade has been here. Being invited to play main stage at Ultra gives me the platform to connect with the original fans and hopefully find some new ones!” he concludes.

∎ “Ultra South Africa” takes place at at HollywoodBets Kenilworth Racecourse, Cape Town, on March 1 and at Expo Centre at Nasrec, Johannesburg, on March 2. Tickets are now on sale at