If Amapiano is the new king of the airwaves, what then has become of Gqom?
A lot of people say Amapiano has killed Gqom, Amapiano is king, Amapiano is now, and so on. But, has it really ended Gqom? How does a widely viral genre just get pushed over by a new one in what seems like a second but wasn’t really so? Let’s weigh in on this.
Lately, if you’ve been paying close attention to both the charts and the airwaves, you’d notice that there are more Amapiano songs present than practically every other genre. It makes you wonder how that is even possible because all genres of music are still made in Mzansi and released in large batches onto the airwaves. Could it be that the demand for Amapiano has skyrocketed over a short while? Maybe, just maybe.
Many refer to Amapiano as more than just a genre of music but also as a movement. Truth is, when it first originated a little while back, no one paid that much attention. It felt like one of those fragile babies everyone is scared to hold, you have no idea what would happen if you rocked so you’d rather stick to what you’re used to.
Funny thing is, as sophisticated as the other music genres are to create, Amapiano isn’t so hard. We hear that it merely comprises of Piano improvs, percussion instrumentals, and elements of jazz. Cool right? Reports also reveal that it was born in the capital city, Pretoria and pioneered by House Music collectives, House Afrika as related by JustTrimmings.
Whenever the history of Amapiano is brought up, a certain disc jockey and music producer is usually the centre of attention, Kabza De Small. You might also want to refer to him as the king or Father of Amapiano. He’s credited to have created the sound and made it what it is today.
Although, Mzansi first dragged its feet when it came to accepting the genre, many House music DJs fast became disciples and pushed the genre to be what it finally became. With more and more DJs joining the charge, it become more of a movement, one aimed at selling its gospel to SA to make followers out of them. That certainly worked. Amapiano DJs practically became fishers of men. Of course, everyone got baptized to the freedom of the tune.
In 2019, the genre official took off big time and practically shoved every single opponent off the top of the charts. Many felt it came out of no where when songs like “Kokota”, and “Shesha Geza” began to claim the airwaves. It became literally the only sound everyone in SA wanted to hear and has been that way ever since.
Former Gqom pioneer, DJ Maphorisa’s contribution to the genre’s success is not to be overlooked. Thanks to his affiliation with Kabza, lots more successful Amapiano tunes have hit the airwaves and dominated. Their collaboration with various other DJs and vocalists have also claimed a broader niche for the sound.
One time, DJ Maphorisa was asked if he felt Amapiano had killed Gqom and he replied saying Gqom is still alive, referencing Beyonce’s feature on the sound. Amapiano is now, it ‘may’ not be so big tomorrow, but in this moment, it is king, and every other song follows.
Is Gqom dead? the answer is NO, a lot of music lovers still listen to Gqom, especially the Durban residents, the town where the sound originally originated from, they keep the sound alive as it means something to them, we still see Gqom influenced music showing up on major music charts and they also get played on major radio stations.
Amapiano definitely beats all Genres as of now, the same happened when Gqom was the real ish but time will tell if it is really here to stay. Music genres don’t really die in South Africa, they only get unpopular. We have seen genres get unpopular for a long period of time and become popular again. It’s about season, culture and the people pioneering the movement.