The Prey of Gods Playlist – A-Side

Posted by Nicky Drayden on May 20, 2017 in Writer's Life |

Every good playlist tells a story, and I’ve pulled together these 12 amazing songs to complement The Prey of Gods and add musical depth to the characters and arcs found in the novel–a novel that heavily centers around song. This playlist highlights some of South Africa’s most talented and prolific musicians spanning nearly eight decades.

This week, I’m focusing on the A-Side of the Playlist–the six songs that embody each of the point-of-view characters in The Prey of Gods. Read below if you want a bit of insight on how I came to pick these songs…or just listen to the playlist and enjoy!


Mbube: (Spotify | Amazon | iTunes) Muzi’s character embodies the spirit of this traditional Zulu song, performed by Solomon Linda in 1939. Also known as The Lion, the melody should sound familiar, though without the jungle references, because, well, that’s not where lions sleep. In the novel, Muzi has a deep connection to the preservation of wildlife, and a mural of Themba, the last lion to roam the savanna before they were driven to extinction, is prominently featured in his bedroom.


Special Star: (Spotify | iTunes) Sydney loves herself some Mango Groove and listens to it in her first chapter. Special Star is a spirited and lively song, just the pick-me-up a certain nail technician needs when she’s running low on energy and motivation. This 11-piece South African Afropop band fuses pop and township music, and was very popular in the 80s and 90s with many award-winning songs that held their place on the charts for months at a time.


Rain – Rain – Beautiful Rain: (Spotify | Amazon | iTunes) Nomvula, you know that girl on the cover of the book, under the umbrella…her name means “mother of rains” in Zulu. Rain often gets a bad rap when it interferes with our outdoor plans, but rain is beautiful. Rain brings life. Ladysmith Black Mambazo is an award-winning South African male choral group, who Nelson Mandela publicly called “South Africa’s cultural ambassadors.”


Lizzy: (Spotify | Amazon | iTunes) Do yourself a favor and watch the YouTube video of this one, first. Hawt, right? Now you have an idea of the level of funk that Stoker’s character brings to the page. Stage presence up to here, and the vocals to match. The Soil’s debut LP went platinum in 2011, and honestly, I can’t tell you which voice I’m more in love with.


Amazulu: (Spotify | Amazon | iTunes) Riya Natrajan is the pop diva in The Prey of Gods, so of course she’s going to have an over-the-top amazing song that you can’t help but dance to. Let’s face it, Amanda Black’s got some serious pipes in this song. You can feel what she’s fighting for, and you can feel the emotion behind the words–no matter what language they’re in.


Flesh Temple: (Spotify | Amazon | iTunes) We’re still a couple years away from music solely composed by an AI (I found this attempt — close, but not quite), but this song serves as a good stand-in until then. Radio Rats is a South African rock band, first popular in the late 70s with a peculiar aesthetic. Flesh Temple is a bit tongue-in-cheek for Clever4-1, since it has no flesh to speak of, but man or metal, we’re all chasing after freedom, right?


Stay tuned for my B-Side adventure, and six more songs that hit at the emotional core of the novel!

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