Karen Zoid

Rock, Folk, Solo Musician - Cape Town
Karen Zoid


The release of her first solo album (Poles Apart), fired the imagination of both critics and the public when she burst onto the scene with the song Afrikaners is plesierig. The song became iconic and Karen Zoid became South Africa’s queen of rock crossing over between Afrikaans and English markets.

Over the past 10 years, Zoid’s albums achieved gold status, she received a SAMA for Best Female Artist, won numerous other awards and performed with international artists like John Mayer, Annie Lennox, Metallica and Hothouse Flowers. TIME Magazine and US News & World Report highlighted her role as an icon in South-African music. First year students at Universities study her writing as part of their academic modules.

Fans were introduced to songs like Beautiful, Ons Soek Rock & Roll and Verandering. In 2005 Small Room became one of the biggest songs being play listed on radio. Aeroplane Jane became the most requested song over the past three years on radio.

Karen Zoid has become an important part of the South African music scene. Since releasing her first solo album, Poles Apart (2002), Zoid has become such an important part of the home grown scene that her name is now the byword for emotionally charged, downright incendiary South African rock music. The press renamed her followers the ‘Zoid Generation’.

What’s more, through the last decade, Zoid has managed that unusual and frequently tricky feat of balancing popular appeal with critical praise; of securing an audience of both Afrikaans and English speakers; of retaining her individuality in a market known for its desire for sameness. And through it all, Zoid has held onto an enviable integrity that allows her to speak her mind in a way that only earns her more devotees and proved no barrier to being named Best Female Artist at the 2008 South African Music Awards.

Zoid’s super-charged rock energy is an ability to write gorgeous, delicately rendered songs that speak of the emotional vortex that drives this exceptional artist to keep creating. ‘Zoid Afrika’, her latest album shows that Karen Zoid is South Africa’s premier female rock artist, full stop. She has shared the stage with international acts like John Mayer, Annie Lennox, Metallica, Simple Plan, Hothouse Flowers, Seal and UB40.

Over a career that has lasted 10 years, Zoid has earned various accolades (including gold album sales) but she says that what continues to drive her is a deep-seated desire to create music that she can get up on stage and play live. “When I was in that all-girl punk band, or busking or when I am playing to a huge crowd, the feeling I get from delivering my music is still the same - and that’s why I do this. All the stuff that goes around making an album - the promo, the interviews, making videos, the artwork … that’s work. Playing live? That’s what I love.”

Karen Zoid


Career Highlights


  • Performs at the ANC centenary concert in January with legendary artists like Dorothy Masuku, Judith Sephuma, Simphiwe Dana, Zahara, Ray Phiri and Vusi Mahlasela
  • Wins a kykNet Fiesta Award for Best Music Production
  • Performed in a collaboration show with Zolani Mahola (Freshleyground)
  • Performs at the Klein Karoo National Arts Festival with Vusi Mahlasela
  • Release her 6th solo album ZOID AFRIKA


  • Karen was invited to perform at all the major arts festivals – Woordfees, KKNK, Grahamstown National Arts Festival, Vryfees, InniBos, and Aardklop
  • Is musical director for the flag ship music production, Dorothy/60 years with Laurika Rauch, Zolani Mahola and Dorothy Masuka, celebrating Dorothy’s 60 years in music (she wrote Pata Pata, etc)
  • Received an Ovation Award at the National Arts Festival
  • Received a Kanna Award at the KKNK for het cross-over work


  • Karen launch her own late night Tv talk show (REPUBLIEK VAN ZOID AFRICA) on DSTV channel, kykNET, with great success, interviewing famous and legendary South African musos, artists, activists, politicians & writers
  • Won a FIESTA Award for the music production Dorothy/60 years
  • Released a CD & DVD with all the music collaborations on Republiek van Zoid Afrika


  • DStv/kykNET commissioned another 2 seasons of Republiek van Zoid AFrika.
  • Karen is the musical director of the collaboration show ZOID, ZANNE, ZOLANI at the Spier Amphitheatre, which is a rock, pop, afro opera
  • In April Karen will launch her solo album, DROWN OUT THE NOISE, with some classic rock tunes and powerful ballades
  • In July she will perform in London with Laurika Rauch


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