Amapiano is a genre of music that originated in South Africa. Key facts about the genre are embedded right in the name. Amapiano. The genre is a hybrid of piano, deep house, and more.
Although its origins dates back to 2012, the genre has so evolved right now that it is currently the in-thing in South Africa, snapping artistes from other genres, from gqom to hip hop.
Looking at the inroads the genre has made in the music industry, it is hard to believe that Lars had earlier dismissed the genre as a “snooze fest” ―you know, music that makes you wants to make you kick off your shoes and crash in the nearest couch and into the arms of Morpheus.
Lars would probably eat his words right now seeing the impact the genre has made since he dismissed it as the song for the sleepy collective.
Amapiano is the success it is today, thanks to contributions from artistes of disparate genres in South Africa. We discuss some of them below.
Music Producers & DJs
Like every other genre out there, amapiano has its DJs and produces. Some of them, expectedly, are more famous than the others. Some started with the genre, while others merely switched to it halfway.
At any rate, they have all contributed to vibrant cultural arc that the world has long taken notice of. In this list of producers and DJs are Mapara A Jazz, Gabba Cannal, Vigro Deep, Major League DJz, MFR Souls, DBN Gogo, Mr JazziQ, Kabza De Small and DJ Maphorisa.
The last two are called the Piano Kings in reference to their work of the same title as well as to their contributions to the amapiano genre in South Africa. Of the two, however, Kabza De Small was rocking the genre before DJ Maphorisa, a gqom DJ and producer, joined him. The two have become inseparable since.
The faith DJ Maphorisa has the amapiano is so deep that he had urged DJs of house music and other genres to play amapiano music. So far, he has received positive responses from house DJ Heavy K and his electronic music counterpart Shimza.
Below is a list of amapiano DJs and producers who are rocking the genre like nobody’s business. Most of the people on the list have worked together.
|1||Kabza De Small|
|11||MDU aka TRP|
|14||Da Muziqal Chef|
|15||Mellow and Sleazy|
|16||Josiah De Disciple|
|18||Major League DJz|
|26||Mapara A Jazz|
Singers & Vocalists
The singers’ list might not be as rich as the DJs’ list but it is splendid nonetheless, bearing unapologetically soulful voices like Daliwonga, Nia Pearl, Mas Musiq, Sha Sha, Malumnator, Boohle and Njelic.
Daliwonga is a serial collaborator but one who also has several numbers to his name. Boohle is another singer with a winning voice ― a voice that has been vetted by Family Tree boss Cassper Nyovest.
Nia Pearl? This songstress is a vocalizing pearl and one you should love to have on your playlist. With a soulful and charming voice, she has been in pretty high demand, compared to others, as a guest artiste.
Lady Du is a DJ and vocalist extraordinaire. When she plays het sets, the crowd gets drunk ― with good vibes of course. And The Lowkeys? This group is anything but low-key when it comes to giving fans the music they deserve.
Sha Sha might be the “odd one” on the list in the sense that she’s actually Zimbabwean. But her contribution to the genre is not in doubt. She’s associated with the Piano Kings and has worked with them several times.
Hip-hop Artists / Rapppers
The brave new worked of amapiano music, as stated at the outset, has attracted many voices from other genres. Some of them include Zuma, Reece Madlisa, Semi Tee Focalistic, Cassper Nyovest, Kamo Mphela, Miano, Killer Kau, and Kammu Dee.
This list glitters with several fine names in the game, but some of them stand out than others. Focalistic was in the world of hip hop but took the leap into the amapiano orbit, having not received the support he craved in hip hop.
Kamo Mphela is one muso with infectious creative energy. The “SBWL” songstress has works with key figures in the industry, as well as released numbers of her own. At some point, she was said to be guiding the gqom queen Babes Wodumo into the amapiano orbit. But the two haven’t released anything together yet.
Cassper Nyovest, who runs a record label called Family Tree, has earned great respect in hip hop. And when he decided to do amapiano, he earned the respect of genre chiefs as well, confidently announcing himself as a versatile artiste.
His grasp of the genre is so deep that although a DJ had allegedly stolen his song from him and released it, the said song, “Angisho Guys,” didn’t do as well as the official song when Cass eventually released it. You can check others in the list below.
The rise of the amapiano genre in South Africa, a genre that has since spread to other countries, from Nigeria to Tanzania, illumines the old truth that one should never underestimate anything. From something of a kasi vibe, it has emerged as the in-thing in South Africa. Some solidarity.