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Amapiano Songs are Elevating South African Music And Giving it Internationally Popularity

As we usher in a new calendar year for the Amapiano Awards ceremony, which will now be hosted in April of each year, we will be holding the Second Annual show at The Sun Bet Arena, Time Square, in Menlyn, Pretoria, on Sunday, April 2, 2023. Following its beginning in 2021, the Awards’ largest show will be in 2023; this year’s event is expected to be even bigger than ever.

In the 1960s, South African songs first appeared throughout Africa, fusing elements of local music with Western popular music. Western listeners had been added to the audience for South African songs by the 1980s. In the 1920s and 1930s, as new ideas and messages were spread across the Atlantic Ocean by radio and recordings, Africa, like the rest of the globe, was profoundly influenced by the instruments, rhythms, and repertory of the Americas. By the early 1960s, bandleaders throughout Africa had updated their repertoire to include renditions of regional folk tunes concurrent with each country’s political independence from European colonialists. Electric guitars, amplifiers, saxophones, and drum sets used by the bands were frequently the property of hotel and club owners who hired musicians in a similar manner to how they hired waiters and cooks to play danceable music for as long as eight hours every night.

In contrast to the rest of the globe, rock, and roll had less of an influence in Africa, but in the early 1960s, the twist’s four-beats-per-bar style spread like a virus, inspiring a new generation across the whole continent to pursue careers as musicians. Several African guitarists, such as Dr. Nico of African Fiesta, preferred the tremolo technique used by the British instrumental band the Shadows. Still, by the end of the decade, Jimi Hendrix and Carlos Santana’s virtuoso pyrotechnics had become more popular influences. Although many musicians on the rest of the continent included jazz in the names of their bands, musicians in South Africa frequently imitated the sounds of American jazz performers and vocal ensembles.

South African electronic dance music, known as Amapiano, initially surfaced in 2016. The inclusion of smooth jazz elements, piano melodies, Kwaito baselines, slow South African house rhythms from the 1990s, and percussion from another local house subgenre known as “Bacardi” all contribute to the sound’s distinctiveness. The origin of Amapiano, which in the Zulu language of South Africa means “the pianos,” is frequently in dispute despite the fact that its undeniable popularity. Several reports place the musical style in the Johannesburg slums of Soweto, Alexandra, Vosloorus, and Katlehong, where it is most prevalent.

Various dance challenges were created on the TikTok platform, attracting young people to the genre and boosting the South African dancing industry. Amapiano is currently one of the most popular South African Songs in the nation on TikTok since the sound has spread internationally. In 2021, videos with the hashtag #Amapiano had more than 1.6 billion global views on the well-liked app, and the “Amapiano Grooves” Spotify playlist had more than 50 million global streams.

With noticeable growth in digital streams and chart victories in nations other than its South African birthplace, the genre saw a growing appeal in 2019 across the African continent. The South African Amapiano Music Awards, an event developed specifically for the genre, debuted in 2021. The genre was added to the platform of the American online music retailer Beatport in 2022, along with its own specialized charts and playlists.

The slogan “Amapiano To The World” is meant to demonstrate the genre’s potency in spawning a new wave of homegrown superstars on par with Wizkid and Davido. Major League DJz, Uncle Waffles, Scorpion Kings, Focalistic, Musa Keys, and T x C have all had global success as artists in their own genres, bringing Amapiano to the forefront of the music industry’s attention.