Major Lazer Team Up With Amapiano Royalty Major League Djz On New Album “Piano Republic”

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Major League Djz, the South African DJ/producer duo and Major Lazer have teamed to release the collaborative album Piano Republik, from Mad Decent/Because. 

South African music powerhouse Major League Djz, the twin power duo born Bandile And Banele Mbere, have sustained a high level of commercial success and received critical acclaim across a career that’s panned a decade and seen them play a critical role in rewiring the modern musical DNA of the rainbow nation while experimenting with elements from hip-hop, kwaito, afrobeats, and amapiano. 

Major Lazer is the global dance trio of Diplo, Walshy Fire and Ape Drums. Since 2009, the group has consistently affirmed its desire to celebrate cultures, to uplift artists and genres from around the world, and to create a new kind of electronic music, subverting all notions of genre and territory. Named for the group’s fictional figurehead, a one-armed Jamaican Zombie War commando, Major Lazer’s mission is to free the universe with music. 

The first new album release from Major Lazer in three years, Piano Republik is a thrilling and unprecedented international showcase for amapiano, the dance music genre that has exploded out of South Africa’s townships and onto the world stage recently.

Africa is the centre of musical energy for the whole world right now, and amapiano is easily one of the most exciting things happening,” says Walshy Fire, frontman of Major Lazer. “It’s blown up all over the continent, but it all started in South Africa, and Major League Djz are in the middle of everything. As soon as we got to experience their movement in real life, we knew we just had to collaborate.”

The album includes the previously released singles Koo Koo Fun (featuring Tiwa Savage and DJ Maphorisa); Designer featuring Joeboy; and Mamgobhozi featuring the late South African music icon and activist Brenda Fassie, as well as a pair of guest appearances from R&B superstar Ty Dolla $ign (Smoking & Drinking, Oh Yeah). South African acts featured on the project include Msaki, Gaba Cannal, Russell Zuma, Yumbs, Boniface, DJ Rico and fast-rising singer Tyla, who appears on the album’s stunning focus track Ke Shy.

A fusion of soulful house music, African rhythms and jazzy piano melodies, amapiano is the latest outgrowth of South Africa’s deeply rooted dance music culture. Major League Djz are both pioneers of amapiano and its de facto global ambassadors, having brought global audiences into South Africa’s club scene over the last three years through their livestreamed Balcony Mix events, which regularly generate millions of views on YouTube.

The spirit of amapiano is African dance music that brings the world together,” Bandile Mbere told Mixmag in an August 2022 cover story on Major League Djz. “It breeds the African soul,” Banele Mbere added. “It’s brought Africa closer together, or brought South Africa closer to the rest of Africa.”

Since the release of their acclaimed 2021 album Outside, Major League Djz have gone on to break the world record for the longest DJ set performed by a duo, performing for 75 hours for a special edition of the Balcony Mix Experience. Counting Tems, Burna Boy, Honey Dijon, Jorja Smith, Rema, Asake, Stefflon Don and Mr Eazi among their steadily growing list of supporters, the twins made their Coachella debut alongside Black Coffee in 2022, and recently sold out London’s O2 Academy Brixton.

Those in Miami for Miami Music Week can catch Major League Djz with Major Lazer Sound System in a b2b DJ set at Get Lost Miami, happening March 25th at Factory Town in Hialeah. This summer in London, Major League Djz will be the first South African act to hold a residency at new venue HERE at Outernet, playing and curating exciting lineups every Saturday in June.

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