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South Africa’s Amapiano is taking the world by storm

The growing popularity of the Amapiano sound is conquering the music scene everywhere in South Africa and beyond. From cab rides to social media challenges, the new sound of South Africa is going beyond the country to command global attention.

The sound is thought to have been born in the townships of South Africa in Gauteng region is making wave across the country and beyond. The sound with the Jazzy soulful of high pitch piano melodies can be heard through car windows and overflowing from night clubs.

Amapiano is basically a hybrid of deep house, jazz and lounge music characterized by synths, airy pads and wide percussive basslines. It is distinguished by high-pitched piano melodies, Kwaito basslines, low tempo 90s South African house rhythms and percussions from another local subgenre of house known as Bacardi.

The origin of this style of music can be understood by being aware of the sound that influenced it.
Amapiano which means the piano in Zulu language draw from Kwaito, another style of music that merges house beats with Hip Hop.

Oscar Sibonginkosi Mdlongwa
Oskido: South African musician

One of the pioneer of Kwaito is South Africa producer and record owner Oskido. He told CNN Inside Africa that in 1994 after the Apartheid young generation of that time started to create their own music which they called Kwaito.

“We used to take house music then from there we started reprogramming that music”.

After the previous generations of young people in South Africa were mainly singing about political songs to fight against the Apartheid system, the younger generation after 1994 was just tired of politically motivated music.

“We started putting our own lyrics talking about things which were affecting the masses out there and therefore that sound was born”, noted producer music Oskido.

Two decades later the music that Oskido pioneered is coming of age and conquering the world’s music by storm. A new generation of Producer and DJs is coming up with new Amapiano beats that are spreading beyond South Africa.

One of those is Vigro Deep, a South African Producer, DJ and songwriter whose keen eye for music has helped him catapult into success not only in South Africa but all over the world.

The 20-year-old Producer and DJ has taken the Amapiano scene by storm. Vigro started producing music at the age of 16 and at that time Amapiano was trending and everyone wanted to be part of it.

“I was like I am doing Hip Hop now let’s me just try something else different”.

A few years later Vigro has become one of the recognizable figure of the Amapiano genre after producing hits that made everyone move and dance.

He told CNN Inside Africa that the favorite part of what he is doing is that he enjoys producing music and is happy when everyone is dancing the hits he produces alone in his studio.

“A song I did with no one, no crowd and the next thing Boom a whole bunch of hundreds of people are dancing to it”, said Vigro Deep who is followed by more than a half million people on Instagram.

Vigro Deep believes that music is spiritual and that he has a calling for the Amapiano music.

“You can’t just make something without thinking or without doing nothing. You have to be in the mood and be in your own space so that you understand what you are doing.”

The Amapiano music that the 20-year-old producer is making is now commanding dance floors not only in South Africa but beyond.

Amapiano has also gone viral on social media platforms such as Tiktok and is one of the music genre that was used by content creators in 2021.

DBN Gogo
DBN Gogo: South Africa’s top DJ

The new South African sound has also seen female becoming successful on the Amapiano scene. DBN Gogo is now a respected DJ, dancer, performer and a trailblazer for women in the genre.

She started her career four years ago and at that time women who were involved in the Amapiano were only singers and dancers.

Now she is one of the successful female DJs and producers that are taking Amapiano sound at the next level as it has already crossed the borders of South Africa to conquer the world’s music scene.

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