Looking at the history surrounding the famous Amapiano tune, we’ll discover that the tune evolved far back as 2016 and is a part genre of the popular South African House music. Amapiano is a sophisticated mixture of Deep House,Jazz and Lounge music which is highly characterized by Synths, airypads and wide baselines. What differentiates it from other genres is the Barcadi house local sub genre vibes it gives, this is evident from the high pitch piano flow, Kwaito basslines, low South African House rhythm tempo it emulates.
Various accounts say the Amapiano tune originated from townships in Johannesburg, Soweto, Alexandra, Vosloorus and Katlehong, due to the fact that it was common in the area. Some factions say it was well known in the parts of Gauteng, others said it came from Pretoria sides due to the Barcadi flow it displays. A lot of accounts have been given on the basis as to which fraction started it first, but the reality is the Amapiano tune, is a tune that attracts all ages to it and it has come to stay in the South African Music scene.
The Growth of Amapiano
Over the years the Amapiano genre has gained major grounds in the Country. Although at first it was restrained to the townships, playing in popular pubs and taxi ranks around Gauteng. The sound was an underground groove before which was spread around in the earlier days through Whatsapp and other messaging apps before it became socially accepted among all and sundry. The sound was further made popular by DJ’s who transformed popular music flow adding the Jazz vibe to it.
The year 2018 and 2019 saw the growth of the Amapiano genre at an upscale level, when the artist who did this kind of music started getting recognized at award shows, getting collaboration from artists from different genres, even to the extent that some artists who didn’t necessarily start up in the genre transformed into it. The sound is characterized by the piano tune, enveloped with a gong gong sound and often mixed up with its counterpart, the Gqom sound.
The genre has seen various brand show it some love through promotions in the past but the first notable brand to show the genre love was the Corona beer brand, that launched a multiple city tour called Amapiano sunsets, the tour included shows headlined by key players of the Amapiano genre, also featuring some budding artists.
Amapiano Key Players
The Amapiano genre has seen various artists start up in the genre and others joining in along the line, we will be taking a look at some of the key players of the Amapiano genre, in no particular order.
The producing duo, who started their career as far back as 2009, consists of two producers, Josiah The Disciple and Mr Jazzi, said they had been producing a different genre individually, before they both met up and starting producing Amapiano beats (although The Disciple had already started producing the Amapiano tune) together under the Amapiano sound they have released songs like “Long Lasting”, “Final Touch” among others.
Kabza de Small
Kabza de Small is a super talented DJ and producer who got in on the Amapiano tune due to staying around Pretoria where the sound was already gaining momentum. He has released a lot of hit songs under the genre and is a highly respected producer in the music scene. His notable songs are “Nana Thula”, “Phoyisa” among others.
Themba Sonnyboy Sekowe popularly known by his stage name DJ Maphorisa, is a South African record producer and DJ. He is an all-round entertainer as far as the music industry is concerned, he has evolved over the years and played major role in pioneering major music genres in South Africa. Maphorisa started as an House music DJ and music artist, he was a member of the Uhuru music group, since going solo he was worked with Hip-hop, Ggom, house and now Amapiono artists to stay relevant in the music scene. Forming the Scorpion Kings group with Kabza de Small who is regarded as a key player, they have both become the biggest force in the music scene taking Amapiano to a who new level with about 4 albums to their credit.
Mfr Souls is one of the top DJs and producer under the genre, they are known for their piano vibes and has since their debut taken the sounds to more fans. They are known for songs like “Lalela”, “Love You Tonight” among others.
Mark Khoza is one of the super talented artists in South Africa and one of the key players and developer of the Amapiano tune. Artiste like Mark have taken the genre from one province to the other. He is known for his popular hot song titled “Khawuleza”
Lowkeys is an Amapiano music group, that have helped spread the growth of the genre with their sounds.
The genre also boast of other prolific producers like VigroDeep, Leehleza, De Mthuda and DJ papers as other key players in the genre.
The genre has over time seen various artistes also jump on the bandwagon from other genres among these are DJ Maphorisa, Samthing Soweto, Cassper Nyovest among others.
Amapiano is a genre that has grown overtime to become people’s favorite.