Amapiano leading way domestically and globally

Kabza De Small. Picture: Enock Mbuyi

Kabza De Small. Picture: Enock Mbuyi

Published Jun 17, 2024


Recent years have seen a dramatic change in the South African entertainment scene, with the rise of Amapiano leading the way both domestically and globally.

Last year, the home-grown dance genre surpassed a whipping 1.4 billion streams on Spotify, influencing music culture globally through dance challenges, collaborations, and fusions.

A Decade of Amapiano, a platform on Spotify, delves into the past decade of Amapiano and its key influences, showcasing the genres significant impact.

The platform launched on June 14, also offers playlists and podcasts for those interested in the genre's origins, sounds, and future.

Having recently marked a historical turning point for the country’s youth on June 16 and their quest for freedom and justice, today the youth use Amapiano as a platform to amplify their voices, freely express their aspirations, and showcase their resilience and creativity.

The streaming platform revealed that the Covid-19 pandemic significantly impacted Amapiano’s growth on the platform, reaching its first 100 million streams in 2020 and 300 million streams in 2021, solidifying its popularity.

The site charts the genres rise to the top of the music world, showing the journey and displaying some of the genre's most important musicians.

The genre originated in South African townships and has spread to international stages. The following are some of the most significant Amapiano stats on Spotify:

345k%+ growth in 2023 versus 2014

Over 855 million so far in 2024.

153k%+ growth in exports in 2023 versus 2014

87% growth of female artists in 2023 versus 2022

40% of listeners are between 18 and 24 years old.

“One of the most affirming parts of watching Amapiano explode over the past decade is seeing how people use it for self-expression,’’ saíd Phiona Okumu, Spotify’s head of music in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Spotify will be hosting influencers and media from South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Japan, Brazil, Egypt, France, the United States of America, and the United Kingdom for a week-long tour tracing Amapiano’s history and origins, and exploring how the genre travelled beyond South Africa.

The tour began in June last year with media and influencers from the African continent, and it is now moving to other countries where Amapiano is well-liked outside of Africa.

The top artists and tracks that have kept dance floors electric over the last 10 years, according to Spotify data, include Tyler ICU’s ‘Mnike’; TitoM, Yuppe, S.N.E., EeQue’s ‘Tshwala Bam’; Kabza De Small, DJ Maphorisa, Ami Faku’s ‘Abalele’; Kabza De Small, Mthunzi, DJ Maphorisa, Young Stunna, Sizwe Alakine, Umthakathi Kush’s ‘Imithandazo’; Kamo Mphela, Tyler ICU, Khalil Harrison, Baby S.O.N’s ‘Dalie’; Davido, Focalistic’s ‘Champion Sound’; and Daliwonga, Mellow & Sleazy, M.J’s ‘’Abo Mvelo, among others.