Having been in existence for about a decade, Amapiano is still considered a relatively new music genre. Amapiano originates from Gauteng province in South Africa from the early 2010.
History Of Amapiano
Where does amapiano originate from? Amapiano originated from South Africa in the African continent. the word amapiano can be said to mean “piano” in the Zulu language.
The new South African genre can be said to be the mixture or fusion of jazz, deep house, kwaito and some afro beats. It’s uniqueness has set the sound aside from other existing genres in South Africa and beyond, it even has set the new music genre on the path to greatness.
One of the top characteristics of amapiano, and a good reason why it is loved beyond measures is that you can play the sound at any mood. It is perfect and suitable for all weathers, either in the hot afternoon, or stuffy places like clubs, or in the silence of the night while sleeping – amapiano is indeed a beautiful sound.
South Africa houses a number of music genres, mostly locally produced sounds. Asides the popular rap, trap, hiphop, or even afro beats; South Africa houses even more number of music genres like; Gqom, Kwaito, Deep house, Maskandi etc. Amongst them all, Gqom has been the most trending and popular.
Before the advent of Gqom, Kwaito genre existed, before the year 2000’s. The music genre lasted up till around 2008 and 2010 when Gqom began to take over the South African airwaves.
Gqom was so popular that it was never though that another music genre can sweep it off so soon. One difference between Gqom and amapiano is that, Gqom was having a hard time to cross the boarders of South Africa. Not many people in Africa know the sounds, and just a few could have heard about Gqom outside the African continent.
However, Amapiano which has it’s date of origin at around 2015 and 2016 was able to gain the attention of both listeners and producers from around the world.
In fact, many Gqom artists and producers switched to the new sound as it began to take over the South African airwaves.
Without doubt, there are still nice and talented glom artists like; Busiswa, Dj Tira, Moonchild Sanelly, Dj Lag etc. But the coming of amapiano offered a neutral ground, a fresh start for many upcoming artists, who came in, showed their talents, and became an immediate sensation in the SA music industry. Some of these artists are; Kabza De Small, Mr JazziQ, De Mthuda, Pabi Cooper, Nkosazana Daughter, Lady Du, Kamo Aphelia etc.
As of 2019, Amapiano became so big that the popular hip hop and gqom producer Dj Maphorisa who is considered to be the best and most popular Dj and music producer in South Africa switched to Amapiano music production.
Around the same period, the sound took over South Africa, with minimal invasions across South African borders, it was spreading like wildfire within the borders of the country. With some artists like Vigro Deep, De Mthuda, etc sharing some heavy piano bars, and some songs like “Baby Are You Coming” to Semi Tee’s Labantwana Ama Uber making out to the top trending amapiano hit lists.
The amapiano music can be said to be dominated but the youth, just as the sound is a vibrant and fast rhythm filled with energetic drum sounds, the youths as expected are the ones who easily catch in on the beat; from the music production to the end users – listeners, mostly made up of the youth.
In 2020, while the pandemic kept the world at standstill, many were trapped wherever they were. It became a great opportunity for some Amapiano music mixers and Djs who began to share amapiano mixes and share them on their various platforms. Then people were occupied but the audio and video mixes from artists like Major League Dj’ Balcony mix and some other artists who share mostly amapiano mixtapes.
Amapiano On Social Media
On social media, Amapiano has become a household name as you can find many amapiano contents on YouTube with millions of views.
While TikTok became popular in 2021, young amapiano artists resorted to promoting their music via the social media channel. The music genre became so popular on TikTok that the Amapiano hashtag had about 600 million views on TikTok alone as at 2 years ago, and today has more than 9 billion views on TikTok alone.
Earlier when Amapiano producers began to make the sound, it was made and distributed through social media, especially Whatsapp and ride shares. There are also various sub-genres of amapiano. According to Dj Maphorisa who assisted Drake in the production of his One Dance song, he stated that there are Soulful amapiano with voices, there are also tech/techno amapiano with claps and snaps, and so on.
Since the new music genre gained popularity, there have been a number of amapiano artists, Djs, producers, dancers, mixers etc in South African and beyond, making great sounds and entertainment out of the music genre. Some of these known and popular amapiano artists include but not limited to Dj Maphorisa, Kabza De Small who is popularly referred to as the king of amapiano, MFR Souls, Kamo Aphelia, Vigro Deep, Focalistic, Smashing Soweto, Semi Tee, Lady Du, among others.
Kabza De Small and DJ Maphorisa, are the most popular amapiano artists and they collaborate to share their music tracks. They are often referred to as the pioneers of the genre. This is however not completely true as the music genre has been existing before their very first amapiano releases. Rather, it would be safer to state that they have been instrumental to the rise to fame of the amapiano music genre.
Where Does Amapiano Originate From? Amapiano is a house music genre which has its root and origin from South Africa.