Recognizing the expanding South Africa-born genre, Beatport has this week added amapiano to its platform.
Amapiano tracks that were previously categorized as Afro House, Deep House and Dance/Electro Pop will now be clearly and properly labeled in Beatport’s download store. The platform is also adding an amapiano chart, which will familiarize the global dance community with amapiano artists including DBN Gogo, Focalistic, and Major League DJz, along with amapiano labels like Jozi Entertainment, Busta 929’s Thupa Industry, and Kabza De Small’s PianoHub.
“Birthed in South Africa’s Black townships in the country’s Gauteng province, the Amapiano music movement borrows from the musical ancestry of the communities in which it was conceived,” Billboard reported last year in a deep dive on the scene, “The name ‘Amapiano’ merges the Zulu language’s plural article, ‘ama’ with the noun for a western musical instrument ‘piano.’ Roughly nine years after the genre’s creation, even the name speaks to a coexistence of African and Western, established and contemporary, influences.”
Beatport’s addition will allow the platform to promote the sound through banners, playlists and more, in an effort, a press release notes, “to help fans discover the sound, translating into improved sales for artists and labels, and a better customer experience, as fans can find music that is truly representative of the Amapiano culture.”
Amapiano’s foundations are in Kwaito, music created in the ’90s as South Africa transitioned into democracy. Afro and deep house, tech-house, jazz and folk are recognizable threads in the sound. What has emerged is a meeting of these influences with the creative, tech-savvy and DIY spirit of South Africa’s youngest generations.