We would all agree that the recent explosion of the Amapiano genre has played a major role in showcasing South African artists to the world. It isn’t really rocket science, that the more popular the genre gets, the more light it shines on our local artistes, presenting them to the world easily.
The story of the genre’s rise in Mzansi is one that everyone knows. The sub-genre of House music has basically claimed all parts of South Africa. At first, people were unsure if it would stick around for a while, but no one expected that it would also make disciples of artists of other genres including SA Hip Hop. Artists like Cassper Nyovest, Riky Rick, and even Khuli Chana have jumped on the dominant genre.
We also did not expect Amapiano to cross the borders of Mzansi into various parts of Africa and the world. But it did. Major artists in the continent including Davido, Falz, Niniola, Zinoleesky and more have all joined the fun, either as lead acts or as featured ones. Currently, a lot of the biggest Amapiano jams in the airwaves are not only from Mzansi, but also from various parts of Africa. However, that’s a story for another time.
We must confess, the creative social platform, TikTok has aided the genre’s dominance in massive ways. Sometime in 2020, the genre practically blew up on TikTok. Amapiano songs began raking in millions of views on the platform. If this isn’t major promotion, we wonder what is. Reacting to this, TikTok Content Operations Manager, Africa, Boniswa Sidwaba stated that music has always been a special part of the platform’s DNA. She also called the platform “the vehicle” for artists and songs to gain more exposure and a wider audience.
Speaking on promoting the genre on TikTok, she said, “To promote Amapiano specifically, TikTok has a dedicated in-app Amapiano playlist within the sounds page that features new and popular Amapiano music.” The platform also “launched the TikTok Amapiano page on the discover tab which features popular Amapiano music, artists and an interactive in-app game created to challenge TikTok creators to guess the Amapiano song playing”. This further aided the genre in reaching various parts of the world, inspiring videos featuring the viral sound.
One major advantage of Amapiano reaching parts of the world is that it has also promoted its artistes. Of course, massive popularity for a song means an equal amount of promotion for its lead artist, and those featured on it. Lately, songs have inspired viral dances which have been jumped on from all over the world. The most recent being Mr JazziQ’s new hit “Woza” featuring Lady Du, Kabza De Small, & Boohle.
The song practically blew up after a video featuring a couple of towel clad men dancing in traffic next to the White House went viral. The video was featured on the daily Fox News bringing even more popularity to it. Reacting to this, Lady Du wrote “South Africa to the world.. this made the news”.
Several other Amapiano songs have also gone viral including Mapara A Jazz’s “John Vuli Gate” featuring Ntosh Gazi and Colano, “Emcimbini”, “Amaiphone”, “Love You Tonight”, and more. The viral #JohnVuliGateChallenge did not only promote the artists in Mzansi, it also showcased them to various parts of the world.
Lately, several international artists including Viola Davis, Ludacris, P Diddy, and more have shared videos vibing to popular Amapiano hits. This not only proves that the songs are known in these countries, but also that the artists and DJs are too. From DJ Maphorisa, Kabza De Small, to Focalistic, Busta 929, Lady Du and more, Mzansi artists are being presented to the world through viral songs, and popular dance challenges, all inspired by the genre.