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Amapiano (Zulu for "the pianos".[1]) is a style of house music that emerged in South Africa in 2012. Amapiano is a hybrid of deep house, jazz and lounge music characterized by synths, airy pads and wide and percussive basslines.[2] It is distinguished by high-pitched piano melodies, Kwaito basslines, low tempo 90s South African house rhythms and percussions from another local subgenre of house known as Bacardi.[3]


Although the genre gained popularity in Gauteng, there's a lot of ambiguity concerning its origins, with various accounts of the musical styles in the Johannesburg townships - Soweto, Alexandra, Vosloorus and Katlehong. Because of the genre's similarities with Barcadi, some people assert the genre began in Pretoria and has been an on going debate about the origin of Amapiano.[4][5][6]

Various accounts as to who formed the popular genre make it impossible to accurately pinpoint its origins.[7]

Artists and DJs[edit]

For a list of amapiano producers and disc jockeys, see: Amapiano musicians


In 2020, the genre experienced increased popularity across the African continent with noted increases in digital streams and chart successes in countries far from its South African origin.[8]


  1. ^ "Amapiano - what it's all about?". Retrieved 2021-01-30. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ "The 10 Best Amapiano Songs of 2019". OkayAfrica. 2019-12-17. Retrieved 2020-03-29.
  3. ^ Prspct (2018-11-21). "New age house music: the rise of "amapiano"". Retrieved 2019-10-29.
  4. ^ "Amapiano: a township sound with staying power". TimesLIVE. Retrieved 2019-10-29.
  5. ^ Joyce, Liam Karabo (23 October 2019). "Meet the vocalist featured on the biggest amapiano tracks". Independent Online. Retrieved 1 November 2019.
  6. ^ "Amapiano a new movement... Period". SowetanLIVE. Retrieved 2019-10-29.
  7. ^ "Charting the Meteoric Rise of South Africa's AmaPiano". Spotify. 2019-10-02. Retrieved 2019-10-29.
  8. ^ Machaieie, Mario (2019-10-21). "2019 The Year Of The Yanos, How Amapiano Blow up". Online Youth Magazine | Retrieved 2019-10-29.