Who Is The King Of Amapiano And Where Did Amapiano Start From?

Who Is The King Of Amapiano And Where Did Amapiano Start From?


Who Is The King Of Amapiano And Where Did Amapiano Start From?

It really sounds weird to ask, but recently there has been need to ask and answer some ultimate questions; who is the king of Amapiano? Where did amapiano originate from? and Who invested Amapiano?

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Before now, there has been no need to ask these questions as it was already known that its mainly South Africa’s artists are the first to make amapiano global. But after the AFCON, Nigerians seems to be dragging or rather claim that Amapiano is there’s, and so many have been wondering for real, and asking what is really going on, were we mere promoters of Amapiano and probably good at it while the Nigerians are the real owners, and perhaps not good at it? These and more are the questions to be addressed with necessary citations.

The AFCON (African Cup Of Nations), a football tournament among African countries came with lots of banters among the African nations, though at last Ivory Coast aka Côte d’Ivoire emerged champions after winning Nigeria with 2 goals to one. Before the finals, the Semi Finals between Nigeria and South Africa seemed to be the fiercest and most tensed game in the past AFCON. South Africans and Nigerians are known to be rivals (in the comic and banter sense of it), just as Ghana and Nigerians are always throwing jabs at each other. Before the Semi finals, Nigeria and Ghana were bantering each other, as Nigeria won Ghana, Nigerians claimed that since they were winners they were going home ad claiming the Ghana’s popular delicacy called “Jollof Rice” alongside other jokes made at the African country. Same was applicable when South Africa and Nigeria met at the Semi0-finals. Nigerians stated that if they were to win, they will be heading home with South Africa’s most impressive music genre named Amapiano, along side there beautiful women. Sadly, Nigerians won and there were comic videos showing Nigerian snatching the Amapiano music from the South Africans while returning home,. In turn, South Africans stated that Nigerians are rather going home with generators as Nigeria was faced with power outage during the same period, hence Nigeria was titled “Generator Nation” on social media.


Since the end of the tournament, there have been struggles and claims on who owns amapiano. Though it was meant to be a friendly joke, but some younger South Africans were really curious to know how Amapiano actually originated.

The History Of Amapiano

Amapiano is a South African word which is actually pronounced as Ama Piano. A Zulu word which translates to “The Pianos”. The South African genre came forth in the 2010s and were not rather popular.

The piano genre was formed and is a subgenre of South African house music, with some mix of kwaito – a South African sound which was very popular in the ’90s and were called the house beat, Kwaito is usually made from a slower house tempo, mixed with some old local instrumental like kwela, marabi, and then mbaganga.

Personally, Amapiano is the formation of South African deep house music, Kwaito, jazz with a little hip-hop and dancehall, then amplified sounds of keyboards, pianos and distinctive notable sound of the popular South African log drum.

Who Started Amapiano

The real starters and first producers of Amapiano is not actually known. It was said that in the early 2010’s, when there was high rise in rap, hip-hop, rap, etc. there were young local producers who were mainly students and young local singers, mixing sounds and music genres to create out something nice. Then amapiano was known as “Numbers”, these producers mainly shared their amapiano instrumentals via WhatsApp group chats, and were played locally till around 2015 when a more popular but local DJ and producer began to re-mix the sound. The producer was  MFR Souls, a set of South African producers and Dj’s. The Duo renamed the “Number” to Amapiano and gave the music genre a little promotion, with that many people began to love the new music genre which forced other upcoming artists to begin to venture into the music genre and finally many other popular Dj’s and producers who were into hip-hop and rap began to create more amapiano sounds.

Towards 2018, Kabza De Small alongside Dj Maphorisa gave the amapiano music the current positive promotion the world is enjoying currently when they together (as a group called Scorpion Kings) released about 5 amapiano projects with many featured amapiano songs.

It is claimed that it is MFR Souls who started amapiano since they were the first known producers to remake the genre and name it Amapiano.

Did Amapiano Start From Nigeria

The shortest answer to this question is NO. As stated earlier, Amapiano is a South African music genre which bears the Zulu name and borrows it’s instrumental and components from South African house music. And was originally formed in early 2010’s. Apparently, Nigeria does not have the Zulu language “Ama” and Nigeria does not have the Deep house music genre and Kwaito music which are the major components of Amapiano.

Amapiano started in Nigeria when some local Nigerian artists like Davido, Phyno etc created amapiano music in 2019/2020 then, other Djs and Nigerian artists began to venture into the music genre. It became an African tune when Davido featured South Africa’s popular amapiano artists named Focalistic on his Nigerian version of Amapiano song named Ke Star and Champion Sound in 2020 and 2021 respectively.

Amapiano began more popular in Nigeria, other African countries and globally when Goya Menor and Nektunez remixed the Ameno song.

Nektunez is an African American sound engineer who is said have his roots in Ghana, while Goya Menor was born in Benin City, Nigeria, his real name is Bright Goya (Goya Menor) an Afro-Fusion Artist, and has been doing music for a while but got his breakthrough when he remixed “Ameno Amapiano Remix (You Wanna Bamba” with Nektunez. The song debuted on Billboard number 1 Chart for a long time in 2021, since then the Amapiano sound became a global phenomenon.

Who Is The King Of Amapiano

Lastly, it is important to clear the air on who the King Of Amapiano is. The South African music genre which emerged from the streets and speakers of the capital city of Pretoria, has been fine-tuned and refined to what it is by the Scorpion kings.

Both Kabza De Small and DJ Maphorisa played a great role in shaping, promoting and expanding the sound within and outside the shores of South Africa.

Well, one may argue that MFR souls or the various young and unknown South African producers who started the sound should be titled the Kings Of Amapiano. However, there should be other parameters which should be considered when naming the King of Amapiano such as consistency, uniqueness, diversity etc.

In 2019, both Dj Maphorisa and Kabza De Small joined forces as the Scorpion Kings to rake up millions of streams on various digital platforms and then became the biggest amapiano figures.

Kabza De Small was a great solo artist before the Gqom and hip-hop producer teamed up with Kabza, (Dj Maphorisa was already a notable producer who had worked with international artists and very popular singers like Drake, Nasty c, Wiz kid etc), then Kabza was a new player in the game but extremely talented, and with his fusion with Dj Maphorisa, they became the greatest Amapiano duo till date.

On one of Kabza’s project, he named his amapiano album “The King Of Amapiano”, and this is a wells deserved self accolade and title.

From our books and experience, Kabza De Small should actually be crowned the King of Amapiano based on merit.

Finally, it is important to note that Amapiano originated from South Africa, and South Africans are the real owners of Amapiano. Nigeria, Ghana nor the United States do not own Amapiano music genre, rather they play a great role in promoting the sound. It is also pertinent to state that there is no official award or recognition of who the King of amapiano is, but based on merit, consistency, diverse amapiano style, great collaborations and mixes, Kabza De Small is the artist to be crowned.


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