Learn how to dance Amapiano


Amapiano – is it house, is it kwaito, is it Bacardi?
The nation is divided on the answer. The fact that the SA Music Awards has lumped it with its predecessors has angered the die-hard fans, who insist that amapiano is a movement on its own. So what exactly is amapiano?
To most it’s a much upgraded sound of deep house music. Think of Umshove by Kabza De Small, Long Lasting by JazziDisciples and Stories by Gaba Cannal. These are just some of the tracks that first grabbed Mzansi’s attention during the festive season. The name though is self-explanatory. The pitchy piano is the dominant instrument in most beats.
It also has a distinct jazz influence, followed by the word “haai” in most jumping tracks.
The self-proclaimed king of kwaito Arthur Mafokate says amapiano exists because of kwaito, a revolutionary sound of its time.
“Just like trap is to hip hop, amapiano is a sub-genre to kwaito,” he said.
Most of Mzansi was exposed to the new sound last year through the Pusha Skorokoro song and fell in love with it, not even knowing what’s it called.
But this track by Dadaman is said to be influenced by bacardi, the Pretoria sound made famous by the genius of Bojo Mujo and Mujava.
Bacardi, however, had been confined to Tshwane areas.
Amapiano is also believed to have been born in Tshwane, but its producers insist it wasn’t influenced by its predecessor.
“Bacardi is considered a sound from Pretoria so I cannot say much on it, but we need to understand that although the sounds are similar they are not the same,” says Mr JazziQ
“Our sound is soulful and much mature, it accommodates a variety of age groups whereas bacardi is loud and restricted. We did not steal a Pretorian sound, we came up with our own – amapiano.”
He says their movement was born in 2014 in their bedroom studios and local clubs of Gomora, officially known as Alexandra.
Next it flooded entertainment venues in the East Rand and Soweto. Now it’s everywhere and has successfully drowned out gqom.
Founding members
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