Amapiano, which emerged in South African music in the mid-2010s, is a house music subgenre that is a hybrid of deep house, jazz, and lounge music and is distinguished by synths and wide percussive bass lines.
In this article, we will look at how talented South African singers such as DJ Maphorisa, Kabza De Small, Focalistic, and Major League DJz have become continental superstars, with their music blasting loudly and proudly in places like Nairobi and Lagos.
Music fans can be found all over the world, including South Africa, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Mozambique, Botswana, and Zimbabwe.
Top Amapiano Artists In South Africa
Lethabo Sebetso aka Focalistic, a footballer turned South African rapper and Amapiano artist, was born and raised in South Africa’s capital city, Pretoria, in the large settlement of Ga-Rankuwa.
Focalistic is known for his unique blend of rap and Amapiano music, which has earned him a large following in South Africa and beyond.
Focalistic of South Africa is widely regarded as an exciting pioneer of the amapiano sound. He has an extensive catalog and has collaborated with other popular African acts, most notably Nigerian music star Davido.
In 2023, Focalistic was named to Forbes Africa’s 30 Under 30 list. The Forbes list was titled “The Newest Self-Made Young Innovators and Leaders Scripting a New Vision for Africa.” The 2023 list honors the outstanding achievements of 30 multi-hyphenate entrepreneurs, innovators, and leaders who are driving Africa’s progress on their own terms.
Major League DJz
Major League DJz is a South African music duo made up of twin brothers, Bandile and Banele Mbere. They are well-known for their distinct blend of hip hop, house, and kwaito music and are widely regarded as one of South Africa’s most successful music artists.
Bandile and Banele Mbere twin, who were born in Boston in the United States, moved to South Africa when they were five years old. When they were 16, they threw the ‘Robot Party,’ which changed their lives. Professionally, the duo began as promoters, hosting some of the country’s biggest parties.
The duo’s hit singles and albums include “BAKWA LAH,” “Koo Koo Fun,” “Le Plane E’Landile,” “Chale,” and “Mamgobhozi.” They’ve also worked with a slew of other South African artists, including Cassper Nyovest, Riky Rick, and Siya Shezi.
Duduzile Ngwenya, also known as Lady Du, hails from the vibrant township of Vosloorus, east of Johannesburg, has actually not been on the Amapiano scene for long but is already dominating the genre.
Lady Du, known for her distinct voice and energetic performances, has been praised for her flawless blend of traditional South African sounds. She has collaborated with a slew of other Amapiano giants, including Kabza De Small, DJ Maphorisa, and Focalistic.
In addition to her music career, Lady Du is also well-known for her fashion sense, which has been featured in a number of fashion magazines, including the Moziak Magazine.
Musa Makamu aka Musa Keys, a young South African amapiano artist known for his lush melodies and softly rhythmic synthesizers, was raised in Polokwane, Limpopo, South Africa. Civil engineering was his first choice, not music.
Musa Keys is well-known for his unique blend of rap and Amapiano music, which has earned him a large fan base in South Africa and beyond. His breakthrough single “Vula Mlomo,” which was released in 2021, became an instant hit. Other Amapiano artists who contributed to the song include Sir Trill and Nobantu Vilakazi.
Musa Keys has released several other popular songs, including “Kakara” and “Samarian Boy,” in addition to “Vula Mlomo”.
The Scorpion Kings (DJ Maphorisa & Kabza De Small)
The Scorpion Kings are DJ Maphorisa and Kabza de Small. Themba Sekowe is the real name of DJ Maphorisa, and Kabelo Motha is the real name of Kabza De Small.
The two artists have worked together on a number of projects, including the Scorpion Kings album series, which has become one of Amapiano’s most successful projects to date. They are well-known for their ability to fuse traditional South African sounds with modern electronic music, resulting in a distinct and dynamic sound that has earned them a large following both in South Africa and internationally.
They have numerous hit songs to their credit, including “We’Mama,” “Amantombazane,” “Koko,” “Vula Vala,” “Ur Sheetee,” and “Jikeleza.”
DJ Maphorisa is an award-nominated producer and DJ while Kabza De Small made headlines when he became one of the first Amapiano artists to make the Forbes Africa 30 Under 30 class in 2021.