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Opinion: Which South African music genre will dominate 2021?

The year that was 2020 is almost over and the results are in, Amapiano the fledgeling kwaito infused music genre, won the year. The South African music landscape was in fact carried by Amapiano in 2020, which will probably go down as the worst year to be a musician as far as coronavirus lockdowns go. But none the less what Amapiano and the musicians who cultivated its excellence this year cannot go unacknowledged.

Amapiano not only dominated traditional media channels like radio and TV, but it showed a heavy presence on Spotify annual yearend most-streamed reports. Two of the most influential South African musicians today Kabza De Small and DJ Maphorisa, took Amapiano music to the next level and it shows on the reports as well. Their influence on neighbouring genres is also telling and has led to my prediction that Amapiano will have an even greater 2021.

As things stand right now there is no question that Amapiano has a stronghold on the street urban music scene. Based on the amount of music output that DJ’s and Amapiano artists are putting out on a monthly bases there are no signs that its dominance will slow down anytime soon. Amapiano is the most influential sound right now and in order to get any mainstream attention, more artist from different genres will look to Amapiano for new ideas.

South African Hip-Hop also has felt the influence of Amapiano with many prominent SA hip-hop artists borrowing sounds, styles and ideas from the township genre. It looks like by the end of 2021 Amapiano will be the main genre from which even international attention is created by the soul, jazzy and street culture sound. It is only the beginning, and only the creatives behind the music known as Amapiano know what comes next.

DJ Maphorisa and Kabza De Small

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