Amapiano is a style of music that emerged in South Africa in 2012. It is a combination of deep house, jazz, lounge and disco music characterized by synths, airy pads and wide percussive basslines. It is distinguished by high-pitched piano melodies, Kwaito basslines, low tempo 90s South African house rhythms and percussions from another local subgenre of house known as Bacardi.
The important elements of the genre are the collaborative use of repetitive piano chords that are played in succession resembling piano sounds from the era of Disco music which was popular in the 70s and 80s.
In 2019, the genre experienced increased popularity across the African continent with noted increases in digital streams and chart successes in countries far from its South African origin. In 2022, the music portal Beatport added “Amapiano” as a genre.
Examples of Amapiano musicians/ disk jockeys are: Focalistic, DJ Maphorisa etc.
Some Nigerian artistes have also tried out the Amapiano sound. Some of these songs are Soundgasm and Calm down by Rema, MonaLisa by Lojay and Sarz Ft Chris brown, Never forget by Omah Lay, Jagele by Burna Boy etc.