By Charles Mgbolu
Like Afrobeats, music genre Amapiano has had a remarkable 2023 year, spreading in popularity and helping artists specialising in the genre to reach the top of music charts.
The famous genre is a hybrid of deep house, jazz, and lounge music characterised by synths and wide percussive basslines. It originated from South Africa in the mid-2010s.
Streaming giant Spotify released their summary of the genre’s performance for the year 2023, which revealed that the popularity of the genre had increased by 101% compared to last year.
The report showed that more South Africans were consuming local songs, with Tyler ICU’s Mnike and Lady Amar’s Hamba Juba leading as the most streamed songs in South Africa.
Others are Kabza De Small with two of his projects, KOA II Part 1 and The Konka Mixtape: Sweet & Dust, as well as materials from Kabza De Small and DJ Maphorisa.
Nine out of ten of the top streamed songs in South Africa were South African, according to Spotify, a major difference from the two previous years when international songs dominated the list.
Its popularity is already infectious among Nigerian artists such as Asake, known for successfully tapping into the sound.
Nigerian rave-of-the-moment Rema says he is also strongly contemplating a variation of his music to reflect the Amapiano sound.
He told Nandi Madiba of Applesic Africa Now Radio: ''I feel like tapping into a sound, most especially when it’s within Africa. I take my time to study. I don’t jump on the wave; I take my time to understand things.’’
"The South African music industry is evolving and owning with every song released. We are glad to see the local creators resonating with South African users,” says Phiona Okumu, Spotify Sub-Saharan Africa’s Head of Music.
Amapiano shows great dominating potential even for 2024, with collaborations in the works with local and international artists, logged for release all through the coming year.
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