Amapiano: The sound of a lifetime

Amapiano: The sound of a lifetime
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[Amapiano: Listen instead]



Amapiano, the striking sound!


Have you ever heard of the saying ‘Uvusa abalele’?


It means you are awakening the resting, and it is featured in the song ‘Abalele’ by Kabza, Maphorisa, and Ami Faku.


Abalele is derived from IsiZulu/IsiXhosa and means ukulala – to restsleep, or even be deceased!

We can understand it best only when used in some context!


So, generally speaking, the song is saying, ‘You are awakening the…(context)’. The song does not provide details surrounding who and what is being awakened; that’s left to the listener’s imagination!


Amapiano or Mapiano is incredible; that is the short end of it.


It is a genre in which every person can create their own inference as to what says what and how. It is a tailored genre.


Mapiano understands that we come from many backgrounds and tastes. Yet, we are drawn to the essence of Africa: the sound!


Whether it is Afrobeats or Amapiano, African music distinguishes itself by what it evokes, which, as far as this song goes, is us(something in us). 


Some say we call upon our ancestors, while others limit it to our essence.


We are a musical continent, and we are loud!


It should be no surprise to see this genre at the helm of world music.



But, the background…One of a few!


Amapiano originates in Gauteng, the economic heartland of South Africa. This is where all creeds meet to create a lifestyle and Culture that echoes the name of Africa.

Amapiano is thought to have originated around Tshwane or Jozi; it has a Gauteng origin.


No one can state for sure since the South African musical scene is almost homogenous, leading to multiple locales utilizing similar sounds to brew something new.


We lend music, and this is no different for Amapiano.


The only reason I say with certainty that Gauteng must be the probable origin is due to the influence which that province has over the rest of the country.



Should it matter where the genre came from?


Sure, it should!

But the best we can do is narrow it down and study the people behind its pioneering. 


It is said that Kwaito is a probable ancestor to Mapiano, despite the two genres holding little in common!



Uvusa abalele – Why is that the case?


You have to analyze the psychology and beliefs of Africans to delve into this one. Also, you must understand the morphology of the African language used!


I should add that few places in this world are better suited to enjoying Amapiano than Joburg/Joziits birthplace – Particularly in the north, where the sky is open, and all sorts of people merge into one.


That is where I truly enjoyed and experienced just how extensive this genre is.


Understanding the lyrics will help in the experience, in as much as understanding nineteen-fifties Brooklyn/Bronx would help in one’s appreciation of rap culture.



But music transcends all else, and now the question becomes: What next?


Marketing, marketing!


The focus is on the continent(not that it has never been otherwise), and South Africans are liable for at least writing about the Amapiano story.


Some will sing it, and some dance to it. However, there should also be those who write about it!


It invites an array of storytelling, from scientific to stupid and all in between. This is a genre of nations.

This is a genre that evokes.


But, it is not a genre for everyone. Nor are there songs inside of it that can be appreciated across the human spectrum. And that’s okay!


I am not exaggerating when I say that this is the sound of a lifetime.


The question that you’d have to ask yourself is: Why not!

It is distinctive and derivative! It is incredible.


It is primarily owned by the youth, who aren’t even aware(half of the time) of how much they are changing the global narrative!



It is South Africa’s response to the party scene!


Everyone loves fun, but a few would agree on what fun sounds like until Amapiano arrives!


It derives from the original African sound – A vague sound that resonates with most of us despite not agreeing on its makeup.


Some say it’s the drums, some the beat, and so on and forth!


But all of us recognize it when we hear it!




It is a responsibility to reflect!


It is an incredible sound that one can incorporate into many spheres of life.

But most importantly, it is a sound that one can meditate to, granted that they understand where the music is going!


It was born in Jozi. It does not get cooler than that!


The tug-of-war between the East and West Coast influence of a genre does not exist here compared to the US. Amapiano is a Joburg sound!



Finally…The evolution of a genre!


On the radio, they mentioned just how much noise this genre is making on the international airwaves.

How it is infiltrating the US, UK, Europe, Asia, etc. [Note that I did not deliberately add Africa.

This is because it is pioneered in Africa, mainly in South Africa. But Africans have expanded it].


It is a genre that is alive and kicking in Africa; there is little doubt about that.


The focus is on the rest of the world due to different cultural dynamics!




Lepiano(singular), as some call it, is a genre that must be taken care of, considering that it is in its infancy!


However, like any genre, it can’t be confined to its homeland. For it to grow, it ought to expand its wings and allow for worldwide adoption.


Hip-hop is no longer solely an American genre, although we know very well where it originated. 

The same is true for Piano(as others also call it)!


For it to be appreciated, it must fly! And if you go to Monaco(amongst a few places), then you quickly realize that it is already doing that!


Amapiano(Plural) – Lepiano/Piano(Singular) is a genre that South Africans constantly define and rename. Each has their own rendition, and each is exporting their version to the world.

And the world is opening to that.


Mapiano to the world. The world to Piano.






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