Resurgence: 2023 ushers new hope for Amapiano
Music lovers embrace Amapiano, is there more to come?
Difficult is the path of love. And lovers throw in everything they have to unite with what and who they love. The same goes for mp3 music lovers. From the time of yore, people identify with music; when celebrating and when mourning, in good and in bad times. Music plays a major role in every culture of the world. Away from culture, religious adherents also identify with music. They use it either as a door to their Supreme Being or just as a vehicle of praise or worship that connects them to the other side of existentialism.
In any way we use music, it has come to stay. It is our identity – we revel in rhythms and beats – and dance to in acceptance of melodious sounds.
In this article, we will explore the resurgence of the Amapiano genre of music currently enjoying wider acceptance and making the world go around and helping people across the world to escape from their hustling bustling life to enjoy some of the beauties of nature.
Amapiano, which emerged in South Africa Music in the mid-2010s, is a subgenre of house music with a hybrid of deep house, jazz and lounge music characterised by synths and wide percussive bass lines.
With its unique sound, the genre has warmed itself back into the hearts of music lovers around the world, particularly the younger generations who explore the creativity of the internet to churn out several types of challenges involving music from the genre.
Its resurgence and acceptance into the subconsciousness of lovers of music, through its infectious beats, have captivated audiences around the world, and are sure to keep fans dancing for years to come.
As it stands, the top exported Amapiano tracks & South African Album include Abo Mvelo (feat. Mellow & Sleazy & M.J); Love & Loyalty (Believe); Ameno Amapiano Remix (You Wanna Bamba); Big Flexa; Hamba Wena; WATAWI (feat. Davido, Focalistic & Abidoza); Abalele; Mina Nawe; Champion Sound and Tanzania, among others.
While the top-rated Amapiano artistes include DJ Maphorisa; Kabza De Small; Focalistic; Young Stunna; Mellow & Sleazy; DBN Gogo; Costa Titch; Major League Djz; Kamo Mphela and Daliwonga, among others.
Listeners of the genre of music are scattered across the world including South Africa, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Mozambique, Botswana, and Zimbabwe, among others. Amapiano playlist is most popular among 18 to 24-year-olds.
Although the genre gained popularity in Katlehong, the township east of Johannesburg, there is a lot of ambiguity and debate concerning its origins, with various accounts of the musical styles in the Johannesburg townships – Soweto, Alexandra, Vosloorus, and Katlehong.
Because of the genre’s similarities with Bacardi, some people assert the genre began in Pretoria. Various accounts as to who formed the popular genre make it impossible to accurately pinpoint its origins.
An important element of the genre is the use of the “log drum”, a wide percussive bassline, whose creation has been attributed to MDU aka TRP.
“I don’t know what happened. I don’t know how he figured out the log drum. Amapiano music has always been there, but he’s the one who came up with the log drum sound. These boys like experimenting. They always check out new plug-ins. So when Mdu figured it out, he ran with it,” Kabza De Small, Amapiano pioneer said of the drum.
In 2019, the genre experienced increased popularity across the African continent with noted increases in digital streams and chart successes in countries far from its South African origin.
With its popularity, an awards ceremony was created that was dedicated to the genre, the South African Amapiano Music Awards in 2021.
In 2022, the American online music store Beatport added the genre to its platform with its dedicated charts and playlists.
In 2023, the genre become popular amongst young people on the social media platform TikTok, which saw various dance challenges being made, and later fueled the dancing scene in South Africa.
Is there more to come?
As more artists emerge and push the boundaries of the genre, there is no doubt that Amapiano is set to become a mainstay in the global music scene. Exploring the roots of the genre, the power of collaborations coupled with the augmentation it enjoys in streaming, the local music will be exported and accepted by the world.
With continuous streaming, steady growth and a dedicated fanbase, Amapiano will expand its reach, and connect the genre to a diverse global audience and is poised to continue its success
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