How Amapiano, A South African Sound Is Dominating Nigerian Music Scene

Read how Amapiano, a South African sound, is dominating the Nigerian music scene.

The 2020s decade has become another defining year for music in South Africa. After brewing under the radar, and blooming in 2019, the house music subgenre, Amapiano, rose to be one of the most dominant sounds in South Africa.

Speaking about Piano in a chat with veteran DJ Oskido, King of the movement, Kabza De Small revealed that it was Mzansi DJ Mdu aka TRP who formed the sound. Mdu had figured out the log drum, and at that moment, Piano was formed.

When the sound began gaining ground in South African radio and social media, it was heavily criticized by many. Some claimed that it would fade away as quickly as it spread across the airwaves. We would all agree that the predictions were wrong because Amapiano has remained the reigning genre in the country since 2019 and continues to make believers out of those who criticized it.

The Nigerian music industry is arguably the most successful music scene on the continent. Nigeria is mainly known for Afrobeats. In recent years, Afrobeats has spread across the globe and gained love from artists and music executives worldwide.

In 2021, Afrobeats had its moment when Wizkid and Tems’ collaboration “Essence” became the first lead Nigerian song in history to chart within the Billboard Hot 100 and Billboard Global 200. Afrobeats and Africa’s most certified song, “Love Nwantinti” by CKay, became the second song by a Nigerian artist to debut on the Billboard Hot 100 and the Billboard Global 200 after “Essence.”

While Afrobeats has been dominating the world, Amapiano has simultaneously taken over Africa, Nigeria especially. The subgenre is currently the most played sound on Nigerian radio and the country’s most produced sound. The success of Amapiano across Africa led to more collaborations between artists from both countries.

Nigeria went wild when Kabza De Small collaborated with Grammy winners Wizkid and Burna Boy on “Sponono.” It became one of the biggest hits of 2020 in the country.

South African Piano hits including “eMcimbini,” “John Vuli Gate,” and more also received massive airplay in the country. International collaborations like “Yaba Buluku” by DJ Tarico, Burna Boy, Preck & Nelson Tivane were equally big successes. The list goes on.

The Nigerian music industry is renowned for being one of the most creative scenes in entertainment. From 2021, Nigerian artists, DJs, and producers began merging Afrobeats with elements of Amapiano to create a more mainstream sound in the country and the world. The merging was a success, spawning hits like Sarz and Lojay’s “Monalisa,” “High” by Adekunle Gold and Davido, “Kilofeshe” by Zinoleesky, “Champion Sound” by Davido & Focalistic, and more.

The success of Amapiano in Nigeria has formed a new relationship between the two countries. Piano will dominate the globe in no time because it is being championed not only by Mzansi but also by Nigeria, two musical giants on the continent.

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