In 2023, Amapiano has blown up way past the borders of its home continent and spread into peoples’ playlists worldwide. However, because of how new the genre is, its musical culture is spread across platforms like Soundcloud and Youtube rather than official platforms like Spotify and Apple Music, making it harder to find great Amapiano artists.
That’s where we come in. We’ve compiled five of the best Amapiano acts right now, including both artists and DJs.
5. Tumelo Za
Probably unbeknownst to people outside of Africa, superstar producer Tyler ICU recently released the song “Mnike”, alongside Tumelo Za, which ended up being a viral hit song across the continent.
What makes Tumelo so exciting is his unique high-pitched voice and eccentric melodies. A lot of the time he utilizes his voice as if it were an instrument itself, similar to an artist like Young Thug.
Simultaneously he adds to the sound of the production and gives the song another layer of melodic vocality. His collaboration with Tyler ICU also promises a lot of potential in itself, both of their styles suit each other perfectly, setting themselves up to be a producer/artist duo that stands the test of time and takes Amapiano to the next level.
In terms of Nigerian music as a whole, KCEE is by no means a newcomer. The Ajegunle born singer has a vast catalogue of hits all of which range between 2 million and 10 million views each, to put it simply, a lot of what KCEE touches turns into gold and that’s no different with Amapiano. His new song “Ojapiano” embraces the genre with open arms and embodies the artists’ cool, rapper-like style and fashion sense. The use of the flute adds a unique summer vibe to the song and makes it feel bouncy and different from other Amapiano songs that mostly only use percussion instruments.
KCEE’s videos are also a huge part of what makes him great. Out of everyone on the list KCEE is the one who puts the absolute most into his visuals and his aesthetic, with flashy green screens, crazy outfits and choreography, KCEE is like the ASAP Rocky of his field when it comes to music videos.
Asake is well on his way to becoming a big deal. His song “Amapiano” featuring Olamide from his new album “Work of Art” is nothing short of exciting. The song has all the qualities of a global hit, proving that Asake has the potential to become an international star in the same footsteps as Burna Boy or Wizkid, and even though that might be a bold statement, I think his music alone proves his ability.
Making great music seems to come with ease for Asake and that can even be seen on his debut album “Mr. Money with the Vibe”, which also featured many other impressive Amapiano songs that you should definitely check it out.
It could be next month or next year, either way I think Asake is almost sure to become a superstar.
2. DJ Maphorisa
There’s a reason why DJ Maphorisa gets anywhere between 5 million – 20 million views on every song he releases and that reason is his consistent production. For many years his sound has been the blueprint for what Club Amapiano should sound like and has been emulated and copied by many other producers. When it comes to helping give upcoming artists a spotlight, no one has done it more than DJ Maphorisa. He frequently collaborates with a variety of different artists that all offer their own unique vocals over his expertly crafted beats.
Not only does he have hit songs, he has amazing DJ sets too, often featuring on Mixmag, Maphorisa knows how to put on a show and set the vibes for the fans.
1. Mellow & Sleazy
If in an alternate universe Daft Punk were born in Africa and chose Amapiano over House music, they would probably turn out like Mellow & Sleazy. The duo have become an iconic pair in the Amapiano scene and have performed some of the best DJ sets the genre has ever seen. Together they have mastered the art of Club performances and how to utilize Amapiano’s dark, midnight tone for the nightlife environment.
The pair also look the part. Designer, dark black shades and puffy oversized jackets, the duo have a signature style that looks as cool as they sound.
Mellow & Sleazy are already performing all over the world in places like London and Barcelona and soon I’m sure they’ll be even bigger than they are now. If there were any DJ’s that would make Amapiano blow up in the dance music scene, it would probably be these two.
Did I miss anyone? Who are your favourite Amapiano Artists? Comment down below!
Written by Jake Campbell.