Nigeria: How South Africa’s Amapiano Is Fast Influencing Nigerian, Global Music

Some of Nigeria’s biggest hits of 2021 like Reekado Banks’s ‘Ozumba Mbadiwe’ Rema’s ‘Woman’ Burna Boy’s ‘Yaba Buluku’, Adekunle Gold’s ‘High’ and Davido’s ‘Champions sound’ were inspired by the Amapiano sound.

That Amapiano, a style of house music that emerged in South Africa in 2019, is fast gaining ground in Nigerian music is not in doubt.

Many Nigerian artists have sampled the Amapiano sound in most of their hit songs in recent times.

Some of Nigeria’s biggest hits of 2021 featured the Amapiano sounds, including Reekado Banks’s ‘Ozumba Mbadiwe’ Rema’s ‘Woman’ Burna Boy’s ‘Yaba Buluku’, Adekunle Gold’s ‘High’ and Davido’s ‘Champions sound’.

Ke Star’s ‘Focalistic’, Lojay’s ‘Monalisa’, Zinoleesky’s Kilofeshe, Naira Marley’s ‘Coming’, and Falz’s ‘Squander’ are all products of the South African Amapiano sound.

Also, the rave of the moment artist, Kiss Daniel, is trending with yet another Amapiano and Afrobeats-inspired beat, ‘Buga’.

The track has garnered over 11 million views on YouTube and multiple streams on various online music streaming platforms in the last month since its release.

Amapiano has amassed over 920 million global all-time streams, according to Spotify statistics. Spotify also noted that the streams on the platform would hit 1 billion in July this year.

Amapiano won for Goya Menor’s first hit song, Amapiano version of Ameno, a nomination at the 2022 Headies Award.

With Davido, Wizkid and Burna Boy’s concert raking millions of dollars and selling out O2 Arena, Nigerian music has gained even more recognition globally.

However, with the Afrobeats genre of music dominating recent Nigerian musical exports from the continent, Amapiano takes the second lead, as most Nigerian artists fuse Afrobeats and Amapiano into their music.

Since its emergence in 2019, Amapiano has dominated African music worldwide and spread across Europe, North Africa, and Far East Asia.

Global appeal

Through the Spotify Radar playlist, an online music streaming platform, Spotify, collated the opinions of different entertainers across the world about Amapiano.

Amapiano is blending with local music scenes worldwide to create a haven for reinterpretation and the exchange of cultures.

In an interview with some South African artists on the Spotify Radar playlist, Kamo Mphela explained why Amapiano resonates so strongly both at home and further afield. He describes the music sound as “a culture and a movement.”

DBN Gogo another South African musician, has also described amapiano as a “way of life” and the first black African genre to break through since Afrobeats.

Moroccan producer, audio engineer, and DJ, Flomine also noted that Amapiano is changing culture. He said, “When you mix Amapiano with traditional Moroccan music [gnawa], it connects people, and when you introduce live instruments, people just love it as it’s changing culture.”

DJ Mitokon, part of the Japanese DJ crew TYO GQOM, added that Amapiano is unique to every country.

Kinshasa-born French artist Youssoupha also described Amapiano as the music without forcing. Youssoupha also infused Amapiano into his latest album Neptune Terminus (Origines) in his trademark style of combining passionate music with lyrics that denounce racial and social injustices.

The future of Amapiano

Spotify says the appeal of Amapiano is rooted in dance and rhythm, and platforms such as TikTok have helped export the movement to millions via devices all over the world.

The global sound of Amapiano has come a long way in a short time, but, like Afrobeat before it, this movement is set to grow as more cultures and scenes from across the world collaborate to reinterpret the sound to make it their own.

A South African musician, DBN Gogo, would describe the future of Amapiano as unlimited. She said, “There’s a new song every day of the week. There’s a new dance, and there’s a new artist, there’s a new DJ, there’s a new producer.” And with this much creativity and potential for reinvention across the globe, for Amapiano, the sky’s the limit.”

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