Tune in to Africa Now Radio With Cuppy This Sunday, January 31st at 2p Lagos/London / 3p Johannesburg/Paris / 6a LA / 9a NYC
Only on Apple Music 1
South African twins Major League DJz are this week’s cover stars and join Cuppy via FaceTime on Apple Music 1 to talk about their latest track, “Dinaledi (feat. Mpho Sebina).” Major League also dive into the themes behind their new EP, ‘What’s the Levol,’ and linking the kwaito and amapiano genres.
Cuppy shares the 5 hottest new African tracks of the moment. This week’s selection includes new tracks from Nelson Freitas, Dice Ailes, Junior De Rocka and Lady Du, Bankulli and Not3s, and Bensoul.
Nigeria’s Jonzing World (featuring Ruger, D’Prince and Rema) is the latest Africa Rising cover star, a campaign which shines a light on the next generation of African superstars. https://apple.co/3qTGTZk
Ghanaian tourism ambassador, entrepreneur and philanthropist Matthew Mensah shares his favourite Akan proverb: “A crab does not give birth to a bird” – honoring all the traits we inherit from our forebears.
Cuppy finishes this week’s show with a special mini-mix of Apple Music’s Alté Cruise playlist, featuring music from Tems, Amaarae, Gabzy, Gyakie, Psycho YP and Azanti, and Sirbastien and Naya Akanji. https://apple.co/2KSzD0p
Major League DJz on the growth of amapiano sound
It’s going to have a lot of sub-genres in all of piano. It’s already having sub-genres, just like Kwaito piano, there’s like deep house piano, there’s tech-piano already. There is afro-piano and there’s soulful piano. So like Dinaledi is soulful piano. And there’s Kwaito, Kwaito, Kwaito, African Kwaito piano. So yeah, so it’s probably going to grow. There’s going to be afro-beat piano, you know? So you just need to let the genre grow, that’s part of growth.
Major League DJz on the decision to switch genres
Cuppy: You’ve done urban music before. So were you worried when you were switching genre?
Major League DJz: Yeah, it was a bit worrying, but we basically knew what we were trying to do. You know, dance is a very big genre in Africa and the world alone. So moving into that space wasn’t that hard, but we just had to tell the fans like, “This is how we’re moving.” And now, and this is how we make touring.
Major League DJz on creating a blend of kwaito and amapiano
Cuppy: Is that any way of creating a collaborative sound between kwaito and amapiano? Is it possible?
Major League DJz: It is possible. That’s what we’re doing basically right now. Putting on different… because hip hop here is more like kwaito so we move the kwaito, put in that kwaito sound onto amapiano, and people are loving it. A lot of artists that are coming out do that.
Major League DJz on the concept behind their EP ‘What’s The Levol’
Major League DJz: “What’s The Levol?” It’s a slang that you have in South Africa. Like, “What are we on about right now?” So at one point, snakes returning in South Africa. People are using snakes for “mooti” and all those things. So we just played around with the…
Major League DJz: What “mooti” is? You know when people do craft?
Cuppy: Oh, like black magic?
Major League DJz: Yes, yes, people are using snakes for witchcraft. So we use it as the playing field, but also “What’s the Levol?” is the energy we wanted to have in summer, it was a festive EP. So it’s more street anthems than songs like “Dinaledi,” more chanting anthems on that EP. It’s not very musical like Piano Chill. So that was the theme around it.
Matthew Mensah’s proverb of the week
Matthew Mensah: This is an old Akan proverb. I’ll say it first in Twi, and I’ll translate it. But it goes like this [speaks own language], which means literally, “A crab does not give birth to a bird.” So it’s kind of acknowledgment of the physical features and character of a child has with the parent. So-
Cuppy: “The apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree.”
Matthew Mensah: Exactly. Exactly. That is one that I really enjoy, because if something really speaks to the character, when you see a young woman or a man that’s really trying in life, you can see some of those traits that they have from their parents. And for example, as well, even just take yourself, for example, you have all of this whole ambition and hard working and entrepreneurship around your business, I guess something you have gotten from your mom and dad as well.