Amapiano, often called “the voice of the South African people,” has gained much prominence in the global music scene. It is nearly impossible not to catch the vibe when you hear the soulful beats, which is a hybrid of deep house, jazz and lounge music with bright melodies and occasional raw and repetitive hooks,
You may find yourself unconsciously bursting a move even if you do not understand the language, thanks to the near-hypnotic effect of the South African native genre of Amapiano.
Although Amapino seems to be a male-dominated playground, some incredible South African women are challenging the status quo and taking centre stage to bring their musical voices to the genre.
They have even gone ahead to champion the cause of Amapiano, which is promoting the rich cultural heritage of South Africa and speaking about issues that affect their people.
This is thanks to music icons like the legendary Brenda Fassie, Lebo Mathosa, Thembi Seete, Thandiswa Mazwai, Miriam Makeba that paved the way for women in Amapiano today to become female DJs, producers rappers and singers.
Here are five South African women contributing to the rise of Amapiano on the global music scene:
Since this queen brought the energy to DJ Zinhle’s song, My Name is Busiswa in 2012 after getting discovered by Kalawa Jazmee’s CEO Oskido, she hasn’t stopped.
Two years later, she was named as one of the Mail & Guardian’s 200 Young South Africans, a prestigious list of the most influential individuals of each year. Since then, she has worked with music heavyweights like Beyoncé and Nigerian acts; Niniola, Mayorkun and Naira Marley.
One of her three studio albums Highly Favoured won Best Kwaito Album at the 25th South African Awards. She has collaborated with fellow Amapiano artists including Kamo Mphela, DJ Maphorisa, Mr JazziQ and several more on hits like SBWL, Bazoyenza and Makazi.
Kamo is one of the youngest Amapiano artists. One thing that makes her stand out is her infectious smile and iconic choreographic skills. She has used her prowess as a talented south African woman to trailblaze across the Amapiano scene unapologetically.
So far, she has landed numerous collaborations with her Amapiano peers with popular anthems, including Mamazala, Squander (remix) and more recently, Nkulunkulu.
Kamo is constantly putting in the work to show the world exactly why the women of South Africa are deserving of the reputations they uphold, with the women from previous decades walking so that the following generations can run.
Anyone well-versed in the Amapiano genre knows that Lady Du deserves all the accolades she can get. She won her first DJ competition when she was just nine years old. This South African powerhouse went on to fully start her music journey in the early 20s, blessing us with two decades of beautiful Amapiano tracks.
Often describing herself as following the footsteps of the legendary Brenda Fassie with just a touch of Lebo Mathosa, it’s no wonder she’s reaping the rewards of her talent. Some of Lady Du’s songs are uZuma Yi Star, Xxikiwawa, Kings X Queens, Woza, Catalia, Dakiwe, and Mang’Dakiwe.
At the young age of 19, Azana has quickly made a name for herself with the Amapiano genre.
Her strong voice and amazing vocals can be found on DJ and award-winning producer Sun El Musicien’s project titled Uhuru.
Azana is already out here securing the number #1 spot on Apple Music’s Pop Chart and charted across all genres on Apple Music Top 100 in South Africa, eSwatini and Botswana.
Her sound is influenced mainly by black musicians both past and present with a taste for activism, pride and intuitive songwriting. 2020 saw her career take off with hit singles like Your Love and Ngize Ngifike, with each song climbing the ranks in the charts.
One thing you should know is that Buhle Manyati is focused on serving us none stop with evergreen Amapiano hits. This Johannesburg-born singer has written some of the biggest songs Amapiano has to offer like Casper Nyovest’s Siyathandana (which has just surpassed 6 million views Youtube).
She has claimed number one spots on South Africa’s local radio stations. Boohle has several hits to her name, including Ukuhamba, Tata featuring JazziDisciples and Gugu which can be found on her 2020 debut Izibongo EP. With her sultry voice and ear for the right kind of beats, her place on the Amapiano scene is secure for the foreseeable future.