Amapiano, South Africa’s hottest cultural export of the moment, was showcased by Spotify this week in an Amapiano Tourism experience, a physical tour for media guests from Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana and South Africa. The tour delved into the roots of the genre, the power of collaborations, and how streaming is helping to export local music to the world.
Designed around some of Spotify’s most popular Amapiano playlists, the tour highlighted South African and Amapiano culture, in partnership with South African Tourism.
It started off with Amapiano 101, detailing the background of the genre, and giving guests a tour of its origins in townships like Mamelodi but also exploring other popular Amapiano spots in Soweto.
The Amapiano Grooves segment of the tour showcased the impact of clubs on the music. The tour also tells a cultural story, like Mogodu Monday, the tradition of celebrating the least popular day of the week with Mogodu or tripe, and music. It gives participants the opportunity to meet with local artists in the studio and see where the music happens.
Spotify Sub-Saharan Africa MD Jocelyne Muhutu-Remy says: “Amapiano’s unique sound and infectious beats have captivated audiences around the world and are sure to keep fans dancing for years to come. As more artists emerge and push the boundaries of the genre, there is no doubt that Amapiano is set to become a mainstay in the global music scene.”
One of the top five exported Amapiano artists in South Africa, Focalistic, dropped by for the first leg of the tour at one of the birthplaces of Amapiano, Jack Buhda in Mamelodi, to share the genre’s origin story.
The Champion Sounds artist said: “We would come here and listen to Amapiano sets for three hours. We wanted to escape from the noise and do our own thing as Africans, speak in our tongue. Amapiano makes an imprint, it’s emotions. Amapiano is spiritual.”
Spotify data tells the story of just how popular Amapiano is both at home and all around the world, with close to 2-billion streams last year, representing a 143% increase year-on-year. The genre has garnered a huge following, with more than 240,000 playlists featuring Amapiano in the title and over 10-million playlists featuring at least one Amapiano track. Over 40% of Amapiano streams come from listeners outside South Africa.
Nigerian artist WurlD, who attended the first day of the tour, gave his view on why Amapiano is so popular around the world: “Music is spiritual, Amapiano is spiritual. I was a fan, watching from a distance. Music is energy, what people are experiencing with Amapiano is the heart and soul of the people of South Africa.”
Listeners on Spotify typically tune into the genre on weekday afternoons, with Friday evening peaks.
Amapiano Grooves is most popular among 18-24 year olds, with listeners hailing from South Africa, UK, USA, Mozambique, Botswana, and Zimbabwe.
Here are the top exported Amapiano tracks on Spotify:
- Abo Mvelo (feat. Mellow & Sleazy & M.J)
- Love & Loyalty (Believe)
- Ameno Amapiano Remix (You Wanna Bamba)
- Big Flexa
- Hamba Wena
- WATAWI (feat. Davido, Focalistic & Abidoza)
- Mina Nawe
- Champion Sound
And here are the top exported Amapiano artists on Spotify:
- DJ Maphorisa
- Kabza De Small
- Young Stunna
- Mellow & Sleazy
- DBN Gogo
- Costa Titch
- Major League Djz
- Kamo Mphela