Streaming giant Beatport is officially recognizing the South African style called amapiano as an official musical genre on their platform.
For years, platforms would lump amapiano into other genres such as Afro house, deep house, and dance/electro-pop. Tracks that were incorrectly categorized will be re-listed under amapiano.
The move comes after prominent names such as DBN Gogo, Focalistic, Major League DJz, and labels such as Jozi Entertainment began evangelizing the sound.
Starting in the Gauteng province of South Africa, amapiano borrows heavily from musical and cultural roots practiced in Black townships across the area. The name ‘amapiano’ merges the Zulu language’s plural article of ‘ama’ with the western instrument of a piano. The term has been around for about nine years and is used to exemplify the coexistence and collaboration of African and Western cultures.
Its foundations are rooted in Kwaito, a genre music created in the ’90s during South Africa’s transition to democracy. The resulting genre is a mixture of house, tech house, and jazz that is being embraced by younger and more DIY-focused South African artists.
Beatport introducing a category for the genre means that the platform can better promote the sound through banners, playlists, and more while helping amapiano artists foster their careers.
More info is available in Beatport’s amapiano section.