Over the past three years, culminating in 2018, South Africa took the continent by storm with its gqom music sub-genre. Originating from Durban, it’s a branch off of the kwaito tree that sounds like a mesh of house and broken beat, wherein the drums are the central musical element. (Also, who can forget the associated and highly addictive gwara gwara dance!) Unbeknownst to most of us, in Pretoria, another branch, this time closer to deep house and focused around piano melodies, had been developing in parallel. It’s called “amapiano“.
Just as I was enthralled with gqom this past year, I’ve been eager to embrace all new amapiano songs as they’re being released. I don’t recall exactly when I came about the sub-genre, but I vividly remember an early mainstay in my speakers: AmaPiano Vol. 4. This fourth edition of the House Afrika compilation mix (in conjunction with the Born In Soweto record label) introduced me to the spellbinding stylings of De Mthuda, Kabza De Small and Ntokzin. Enjoy the mix and I’ll be back tomorrow for part 2.
Pick your preferred music platform:
01. Kabza De Small ::: Bamba La (feat. Leehleza & DJ Stokie)
02. ThackzinDJ ::: Freak Like Me (Main Mix)
03. Kwiish SA ::: Iskhathi (Gong Gong)
04. Kabza De Small ::: Yebo Pa
05. Kay Invictus ::: Mduva
06. ThackzinDJ ::: Paradise 1475 (Main Mix)
07. Ntokzin ::: References (Main Mix)
08. MDU aka TRP ::: 911
09. De Mthuda & Ntokzin ::: Blissful Day
10. MDU aka TRP ::: Sghubu (Main Mix)
11. Luu Nineleven ::: Wang’sukela
12. De Mthuda ::: Abuti Gee (Main Mix)