Amapiano music

3 739 Amapiano songs with 896 594 monthly listeners
Amapiano is a subgenre of house music and kwaito that emerged in South Africa in the mid-2010s. The word "amapiano" is (more)

What is Amapiano?

Amapiano is a South African house music style that came to light in 2012. The genre is a composite of different South African and other music sounds like deep house, Kwaito and Jazz.

The origin is a debate torn between different towns in Johannesburg of which Alexandria, Soweto and Vosloorus are the most mentioned. Pretoria is also inserted in this debate because Bacardi another style of South African music shares similarities with Amapiano and this Bacardi style was quite a thing in Pretoria. The various versions of the origin have made it difficult to come to a conclusion about where this genre really originated from.

Although there is not a universal agreement yet as to the origin, a distinct feature of the genre which is the log drum is credited to Amapiano artist, MDU also known as TRP.

Another account of the origin of this genre has names like production duo MFR Souls as the innovators and originators. DJ Stokie is another name mentioned amongst the early trendsetters who confirms this. He is credited with making it popular in the township city of Johannesburg Metropolis, Soweto. Speaking to South African news outlet, News24, Stokie said he heard the music style from the East Rand disc jockey duo MFR Souls and instantly loved it. He would now go on to adopt it and play a part in popularizing it.

In 2012, MFR Souls created Amapiano in a conscious effort of experimenting with different music styles, mixing kwaito and the productions of veteran deep house DJs Clock and Bekzin Terris. The duo alongside JazziDisciples from Alexandra and Kabza De Small from Pretoria played what was then called iNumba but then MFR Souls changed the name to Amapiano because of the keys that played a distinct role in how beats in the genre are created and played. So depending on who the question is being posed to, it can be said that Amapiano originated in Johannesburg and Pretoria in 2012.

A documentary titled Shaye which was released in 2020 to shine the light on the origin, rise and popularity of Amapiano featured the key players in the game. Mark Khoza an MC and artist had this to say;

“There is a guy who would play the keyboard along to a DJ’s set. Even in the studio, he’d play the piano over the recordings. Later, someone else would come up with the idea of infusing that practice with deep house. Eventually, Kabza De Small also played the same music. The genre used to be called ‘number’. But MFR Souls came up with the name ‘amapiano’ and popularized it. They are the ones who started it.”

In an interview with Pie Radio, popular South African disc jockey, DJ Maphorisa who was instrumental in popularizing the sound revealed that it was Nigerian superstar singer, Wizkid who put him on and introduced him to it.

Narrating the details of how he discovered it, Maphorisa said Wizkid was in South Africa and he took him along to a booking he had in Pretoria. After his set, the DJ of the night started playing Amapiano and according to Maphorisa, on hearing this new music style, Wizkid had goosebumps and called his attention to ask him about the sound that was playing. Maphorisa who didn’t know Amapiano any more than an underground sound picked interest after Wizkid encouraged him to tap into it and predicted that it is going to be the next big thing.

In 2020, this new South African genre peaked with its influx and embrace into the Nigerian music space. Many top Nigerian artists started experimenting with it, even infusing it into the more popular Afrobeats Nigeria is known for. Niniola, Zinoleesky, Davido, DJ Kaywise, Mayorkun, and Falz are some of the early adopters of this style in Nigeria and have made the best of it. Some school of thought has it that Nigeria hijacked the sound but that is only because the country is a musically rich country and accounts for a very good number of African artists who also have a huge fan base and following outside the shores of the continent.

Popular Amapiano Songs

1. Kabza De Small & DJ Maphorisa (feat. Ami Faku) - Abalele
2. Kwiish SA (feat. Njelic, MalumNator & De Mthuda) - LiYoshona
3. Mr JazziQ, Kabza De Small, Lady Du (feat. Boohle) - Woza
4. DBN Gogo, Blaqnick, MasterBlaq (feat. Mpura, Ama Avenger and M.J) - Khuza Gogo
5. De Mthuda feat. Sir Trill & Da Muziqal Chef - John Wick
6. DJ Maphorisa & Tyler ICU, feat Madumane, Mpura, Daliwonga & Visca - Izolo
7. Cassper Nyovest feat. Abidoza, Boohle - Siyathandana
8. DJ Sumbody feat Drip Gogo, The Lowkeys - Iyamemeza
9. Uncle Waffles & Tony Duardo feat Sino Msolo and Boibizza - Tanzania
10. Focalistic & Davido (feat. Vigro Deep) - Ke Star Remix
11. Zinoleesky - Kilofeshe
12. DJ Kaywise & Phyno - Highway
13. Pabi Cooper - Banyana ke Bafana
14. Young Stunna (feat. Kabza De Small and DJ Maphorisa) - Adiwele
15. Busta 929 (feat. Boohle) - Ngixolele

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