It’s a sound that has come to not only dominate the South African music palette but has uncontrollably crossed borders to capture ears around the world as well. That wasn’t always the case, especially when Amapiano first came to the spotlight.
Even though it saw a break into commercial success in 2019, the sound of Amampiano had been around since long before that, circa 2012. During its rise, there were more than enough naysayers to go around and comments, mostly unsolicited, on how this was only a temporary craze. A lot of us gave it a limited time span. We were fully convinced that its limelight will be short-lived, mostly going on how identical the music sounded from song to song. That was a logical assessment until creators caught the wave and vocalists came into the mix. And then things were switched up.
There was still a barrier that kept most of the music away from mainstream radio but that didn’t stop the genre being a contender for the forefront on the streets (even virtual streets, for that matter). It was fast becoming better and more than what it was before.
The success of Amapiano lies beyond just the music sounding good and the lyrics being as provocative as they are. It went an extra step. Actually, it went great leaps ahead of what came before it. It became much more than a mere genre, it provided a platform. A platform that carries many styles, genres and probably more importantly… languages. Which made it inclusive and set its destination to take off.
Because of that, the sound of Amapiano is an open platform that sees the introduction of new stars and frequent release of music within short periods. All of which comes with an evolving lifestyle. What is more interesting is how the sound keeps being pushed to new bounds, just as we think we have heard all it has to offer.
Amapiano carries genres such as Kwaito, House, Hip Hop and more recently, AfroBeats and Pop. This is not to say it accommodates the full spectrum of those genres. It’s worth noting that there is still more room for growth within this platform for artists who are willing to embrace it. And even more room for the platform/lifestyle to grow its audience. What’s certain is that it is getting more recognition around the world as an authentic South African sound.