The amapiano, this South African electronic music conquering the world

DJ Maphorisa (left) and Kabza de Small, in Johannesburg, October 26, 2021. Gallo Images via Getty Images - Gallo Images

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1 min

It is a musical style that spreads all over the planet and that comes to us from South Africa: the amapiano. This electronic music genre is partly responsible for a strong growth of the music industry market in sub-Saharan Africa: +34.7% in 2022 according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. This is the largest increase in the world.


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With our correspondent in Johannesburg,Romain Chanson

In South Africa, the market grew by 31%. Amapiano artists are performing more and more abroad and are exploding the counters of streaming listening. A boon for the industry looking to gain new subscribers.


It's not really melodic, there's no catchy element, it's more about atmosphere and rhythm. This is how Temi Adeniji, head of Warner Music Africa, describes the amapiano.

► Listen: TROPICAL COLORS - From Kwaito to Amapanio

In 2022, this musical style has generated two billion streams on Spotify. There are over 240,000 amapiano playlists on the platform. 40% of listening is outside South Africa.

A style that inspires Nigerian stars

Kabza de Small and DJ Maphorisa, who play together on the track Adiwele, pull the streaming in a country with four million paying subscribers. We also think of Uncle Waffles or Sho Madjozi for women.

The success of the amapiano is reminiscent of the explosion of Nigerian Afro-beats five years ago. Today, it is the turn of artists from Lagos to infuse their afro-beats into amapiano like Sungba, Asake and Burna Boy. A timely association to continue to dance and attract new paying subscribers.

► Read also: Panorama of amapiano

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  • Culture
  • Music
  • South Africa
  • Africa