night time club shot of CDJ's

What is Amapiano?

 

South African house music or specifically South African Deep House is perhaps the stronghold of the scene right now and having had the pleasure of interviewing The Godfathers of Deep House SA this month, and Vinny Da Vinci to come I’ve been doing my homework on the music scene and the term Amapiano came up time and time again - I thought it was a DJ or producer… turns out I was wrong…

 

What is Amapiano?

 

Amapiano is a South African style of electronic dance music that first appeared in 2016. A subgenre of house and Kwaito. The sound is distinguished by its use of smooth jazz elements and piano melodies, Kwaito baselines, low tempo 90's South African house rhythms and percussion from another local house subgenre known as 'Bacardi’. Although it is accepted the style started in Gauteng, there is a lot of doubt in terms of where the Amapiano style of music originates, with various accounts of the musical style in Johannesburg townships, Soweto, Alexandra, Vosloorus and Katlehong where it is most common.

 

What is Kwaito?

 

Kwaito is a music genre that emerged in Johannesburg, South Africa, during the 1990s. It is a variant of house music featuring the use of African sounds and samples. It often contains catchy melodic and percussive loop samples, deep bass lines, and vocals. Despite its similarities to hip hop music, Kwaito has a distinctive manner in which the lyrics are sung, rapped and shouted.

Who are the big names in Amapiano?

 

Amapiano boasts a strong list of names such as Kabza DeSmall, MFR Soul, Bantu Elements, VigroDeep, Lowkeys, Leehleza, De Mthuda and DJ Papers, Jazzi Disciples and Tino Touch, who are considered the real pioneers of the subgenres.

 

“If you put one hundred guys in a room and you asked them where Amapiano started, you’ll get one hundred answers and some very heated debates…” Siphiwe Ngwenya, cofounder of Born in Soweto, a homegrown label which backed AmaPiano early on is quoted online as saying.

 

Originally, Amapiano was a confined success in the townships, playing in popular pubs and taverns around Gauteng. The sound itself was underground music, being shared around using messaging apps as is common in South African house music communities, before it became mainstream being recognised by streaming apps such as Deezer and Spotify. Check out the Spotify playlist below to really get a sense of the genre’s sound.

 

Spotify’s end of year stats rank Amapaino’s Kabza De Small as the most streamed South African artists on Spotify in SA. 2019 definitely has been a huge year for Amapiano. After years of bubbling under, the subgenre of South African house music has officially arrived in the country's mainstream music scene.

 

Corona is one of the first brands to show Amapiano commercial interest having launched a premium multiple city tour called Amapiano Sunsets earlier this year. The tour included a string of shows headlined by the frontrunners of Amapiano alongside new talent that was otherwise struggling to get a platform. And SHAYA!, a 26-minute documentary unpacks Amapiano's origins and profiles some of the subgenre's key players such as Kabza De Small, JazziDisciples, MFR Souls, Mark Khoza and others.

 

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night time club shot of CDJ's
night time club shot of CDJ's

What is Amapiano?

 

South African house music or specifically South African Deep House is perhaps the stronghold of the scene right now and having had the pleasure of interviewing The Godfathers of Deep House SA this month, and Vinny Da Vinci to come I’ve been doing my homework on the music scene and the term Amapiano came up time and time again - I thought it was a DJ or producer… turns out I was wrong…

 

What is Amapiano?

 

Amapiano is a South African style of electronic dance music that first appeared in 2016. A subgenre of house and Kwaito. The sound is distinguished by its use of smooth jazz elements and piano melodies, Kwaito baselines, low tempo 90's South African house rhythms and percussion from another local house subgenre known as 'Bacardi’. Although it is accepted the style started in Gauteng, there is a lot of doubt in terms of where the Amapiano style of music originates, with various accounts of the musical style in Johannesburg townships, Soweto, Alexandra, Vosloorus and Katlehong where it is most common.

 

What is Kwaito?

 

Kwaito is a music genre that emerged in Johannesburg, South Africa, during the 1990s. It is a variant of house music featuring the use of African sounds and samples. It often contains catchy melodic and percussive loop samples, deep bass lines, and vocals. Despite its similarities to hip hop music, Kwaito has a distinctive manner in which the lyrics are sung, rapped and shouted.

Who are the big names in Amapiano?

 

Amapiano boasts a strong list of names such as Kabza DeSmall, MFR Soul, Bantu Elements, VigroDeep, Lowkeys, Leehleza, De Mthuda and DJ Papers, Jazzi Disciples and Tino Touch, who are considered the real pioneers of the subgenres.

 

“If you put one hundred guys in a room and you asked them where Amapiano started, you’ll get one hundred answers and some very heated debates…” Siphiwe Ngwenya, cofounder of Born in Soweto, a homegrown label which backed AmaPiano early on is quoted online as saying.

 

Originally, Amapiano was a confined success in the townships, playing in popular pubs and taverns around Gauteng. The sound itself was underground music, being shared around using messaging apps as is common in South African house music communities, before it became mainstream being recognised by streaming apps such as Deezer and Spotify. Check out the Spotify playlist below to really get a sense of the genre’s sound.

 

Spotify’s end of year stats rank Amapaino’s Kabza De Small as the most streamed South African artists on Spotify in SA. 2019 definitely has been a huge year for Amapiano. After years of bubbling under, the subgenre of South African house music has officially arrived in the country's mainstream music scene.

 

Corona is one of the first brands to show Amapiano commercial interest having launched a premium multiple city tour called Amapiano Sunsets earlier this year. The tour included a string of shows headlined by the frontrunners of Amapiano alongside new talent that was otherwise struggling to get a platform. And SHAYA!, a 26-minute documentary unpacks Amapiano's origins and profiles some of the subgenre's key players such as Kabza De Small, JazziDisciples, MFR Souls, Mark Khoza and others.

 

night time club shot of CDJ's
night time club shot of CDJ's

What is Amapiano?

 

South African house music or specifically South African Deep House is perhaps the stronghold of the scene right now and having had the pleasure of interviewing The Godfathers of Deep House SA this month, and Vinny Da Vinci to come I’ve been doing my homework on the music scene and the term Amapiano came up time and time again - I thought it was a DJ or producer… turns out I was wrong…

 

What is Amapiano?

 

Amapiano is a South African style of electronic dance music that first appeared in 2016. A subgenre of house and Kwaito. The sound is distinguished by its use of smooth jazz elements and piano melodies, Kwaito baselines, low tempo 90's South African house rhythms and percussion from another local house subgenre known as 'Bacardi’. Although it is accepted the style started in Gauteng, there is a lot of doubt in terms of where the Amapiano style of music originates, with various accounts of the musical style in Johannesburg townships, Soweto, Alexandra, Vosloorus and Katlehong where it is most common.

 

What is Kwaito?

 

Kwaito is a music genre that emerged in Johannesburg, South Africa, during the 1990s. It is a variant of house music featuring the use of African sounds and samples. It often contains catchy melodic and percussive loop samples, deep bass lines, and vocals. Despite its similarities to hip hop music, Kwaito has a distinctive manner in which the lyrics are sung, rapped and shouted.

Who are the big names in Amapiano?

 

Amapiano boasts a strong list of names such as Kabza DeSmall, MFR Soul, Bantu Elements, VigroDeep, Lowkeys, Leehleza, De Mthuda and DJ Papers, Jazzi Disciples and Tino Touch, who are considered the real pioneers of the subgenres.

 

“If you put one hundred guys in a room and you asked them where Amapiano started, you’ll get one hundred answers and some very heated debates…” Siphiwe Ngwenya, cofounder of Born in Soweto, a homegrown label which backed AmaPiano early on is quoted online as saying.

 

Originally, Amapiano was a confined success in the townships, playing in popular pubs and taverns around Gauteng. The sound itself was underground music, being shared around using messaging apps as is common in South African house music communities, before it became mainstream being recognised by streaming apps such as Deezer and Spotify. Check out the Spotify playlist below to really get a sense of the genre’s sound.

 

Spotify’s end of year stats rank Amapaino’s Kabza De Small as the most streamed South African artists on Spotify in SA. 2019 definitely has been a huge year for Amapiano. After years of bubbling under, the subgenre of South African house music has officially arrived in the country's mainstream music scene.

 

Corona is one of the first brands to show Amapiano commercial interest having launched a premium multiple city tour called Amapiano Sunsets earlier this year. The tour included a string of shows headlined by the frontrunners of Amapiano alongside new talent that was otherwise struggling to get a platform. And SHAYA!, a 26-minute documentary unpacks Amapiano's origins and profiles some of the subgenre's key players such as Kabza De Small, JazziDisciples, MFR Souls, Mark Khoza and others.