The release of her first solo album (Poles Apart) 10 years ago 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.

All About Karen Zoid

Karen Zoid has become an important part of the South African music scene. Since releasing her first solo album, Poles Apart (2002), which fired the imagination of both critics and the public to such an extent that Karen Zoid became an icon in the South- African market, which the press renamed the ‘Zoid Generation’.

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 staged with international acts like John Mayer, Annie Lennox, Metallica, Simple Plan , Hothouse Flowers, Seal and UB40.

Over a career that has last 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."


2002 saw the release of her first solo album Poles Apart. In 2004 both Time Magazine and US News & World Report highlighted her role as an icon. In June 2003 EMI released her second critically acclaimed album, Chasing the Sun. Both Poles Apart and Chasing the Sun have been accorded Gold Record status. In July 2005 her third album, Media, was released by EMI. 

That her most recent releases (Postmodern World & Ultimate Zoid) supports the assertion that these are landmark albums for one of the South Africa's most adored performers: the recording is a world-class showcase for Zoid's breadth of gifts, providing a platform for her beautifully resonant voice and virtually peerless songwriting.

Her work as a singer-songwriter has been included on many albums of other artists as well as compilations. She has written songs for several artists in South Africa, recorded by them as well as the theme for a TV series. Karen regularly tours to England, Dubai, Canada or the United States to perform for her fans overseas. 

Career Highlights


  • Release of first album Poles Apart
  • Four nominations for the South African Broadcasting Services TV2 Geraas awards
  • Winner two SABC TV2 Geraas awards - Best Newcomer, Best Rock Album
  • SA Rock Digest and SAFM radio - Poles Apart no 1 album of the year
  • SA Rock Digest and SAFM radio - Set of Wheels song no 1 of the year.
  • SAMA (SA Music Association) nomination Rock Album of the year.
  • Nomination Shoprite-Checkers National Woman of the Year.
  • Winner Kanna Award for best Light Music Production at the Klein Karoo National Arts Festival.


  • Named by Independent Newspaper Group as one of the top 100 people of South Africa in 2003
  • Named by Sunday Times newspaper as one of the top six Rising Stars of South Africa in 2003
  • Named by Rapport newspaper as one of South Africa's Top Ten famous people in 2003
  • Release of second album Chasing the Sun
  • Nominated for five SABC Geraas awards
  • Winner three SABC Geraas awards - Best Songwriter, Best Rock Album, Best Album Played in London
  • Played at the government's official Heritage Day concert at the Union Buildings.


  • Performed at the Inauguration Concert for President Mbeki, Union Buildings, 27 April
  • SAMA (SA Music Association) nominations Best Rock Album of the year and Best Female Composer


  • Played at President Mandela's 46664 charity concert with Queen, Annie Lennox and others
  • Played at official Youth Day concert in Johannesburg (16 June), National Womens Day Concert at Union Buildings (9 August) as guest of Minister of Foreign Affairs
  • Gold records awards for first two albums
  • Release of third album Media


  • First single released from "Media", "Small Room" reaches number one on several mayor radio stations.
  • Performed in Canada.
  • Karen Zoid's Album nominated for 4 SAMA' s (South Africa's Grammy equivalents), Most Popular Artist, Best Rock Artist, Best Adult contemporary Afrikaans,Best Engineer.
  • Performed along side Simple Plan, Metallica and Collective Soul.
  • Performed at the International "Desert Rhythm Festival" in Dubai in October headlining just before John Mayer from the United States.
  • Participated in the "Positive Rocks" fundraising concert at the Superbowl in Sun City along with Kabelo, Danny K and UK artist Seal to help the Tapologo Hospice for children with AIDS.


  • Performance with Hothouse Flowers, Jimmy Dludlu, Arno Carstens and others at Spier in Stellenbosch as part of Old Mutual's "Encounters" project.
  • Co-hosted the South African Music Awards,SAMA gala evening with South African gospel icon Kina Shirindi at Sun City.
  • Released Album "Post Modern World".
  • First single from album "Aeroplane Jane" receives high rotation on all major South African radio stations and 5fm top 10.


  • Recorded live DVD,"Alive in the Postmodern World".
  • Performed two concerts at the Union Chapel, Islington,London.
  • Nominated for 2 SAMA's (South Africa's Grammy equivalents), Best Female Artist and Best Contemporary Album.
  • Winner SAMA Best Female Artist 2008.
  • I Am South African -Human Rights Day Special - Live on SABC 2.
  • Nelson Mandela 90th Birthday Celebration - August.


  • Headlined Various South African Music Festivals including the prestigious national institution "Oppikoppi" festival.
  • Recorded and released the a hugely successful "Ultimate Zoid" album with the first released singles being immediately play listed on high rotation on most major radio stations.
  • Tour with a set of unplugged shows.


  • Performed at the Klein Karoo National Arts Festival in ‘Karen Zoid Unplugged’ and was nominated for an esteemed Kanna Award as Best Female Performer at the festival.
  • Making a debut on the silver screen in the lead role of a Franz Marx Film, Susanna van Biljon.
  • Performing in some of SA’s biggest theatres – at the Grahamstown National Arts Festival and at the Sand du Plessis Theatre in Bloemfontein, with a mass choir of 1200 boys.
  • Working on her 5th solo-album, to be released in October.


  • 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 Fiesta Award for Best Music Production
  • Performed in a collaboration show with Zolani Mahola (Freshleyground)
  • Performs at the Klein Karoo National Arts Festival in Accoustic Sounds music series.
  • Release her 6th solo album ZOID AFRIKA.