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South African Amapiano Hit 'John Vuli Gate' Smashes Shazam Charts

South African Amapiano Hit 'John Vuli Gate' Smashes Shazam Charts

South African hit song 'John Vuli Gate' by Mapara A Jazz featuring Ntosh Gazi and Colano has recorded the highest entry into Shazam's global chart following the #JohnVuliGateChallenge on social media.

Hit song "John Vuli Gate" by amapiano duo Mapara A Jazz featuring Ntosh Gazi and Colano has smashed Shazam's global charts. The song recorded the highest entry into the international chart following social media craze on TikTok and Twitter. The #JohnVuliGateChallenge is the latest dance trend that has been prompted by the infectious song.


Read: 7 Amapiano Albums & EPs to Stream Right Now

Official reports from Shazam announced that "John Vuli Gate" broke through the global charts with an entry at number 46 and number one nationally. The fairly unknown amapiano duo from Pretoria have said that they been taken aback by the news.

"We are so pleased to have our song "John Vuli Gate" become a major trend in South Africa. To have people Shazam our song around the world is a dream come true for us. People all over are taking part in the dance challenge of 'John Vuli Gate' and loving the song. We are very happy to debut in Shazam's charts and reach the Global Top 50. It shows people are really loving our music and want to stream it."

Mapara A Jazz recorded the song in July of this year in the middle of lockdown but it made its way to the public through viral videos on TikTok and Twitter. The duo, 29-year-old Mano Nephawe and 31-year-old Leornard Malatji, have been on the music scene for over ten years playing at various taverns and clubs. According to Drum, "John Vuli Gate" is their breakthrough record after thirteen years of playing the underground amapiano scene.

South Africans are known for dance trends and "John Vuli Gate" is no exception. A video of a young man dancing to the hit song debuted on the Twitter streets but it was the viral video of five sexy young women dancing at a petrol station that made the song as popular as it now is.


Mapara A Jazz had already shot a video but have reportedly started reshooting to include the five women who turned the song into a hit.

South Africans are determined to end the year well despite the coronavirus pandemic having put a putting a dampener on the year. While the year started off with the #JerusalemaChallenge, it might just end with the #JohnVuliGateChallenge. The fast beat track may just be the song of the year or as South Africans would say, "the song to break the year".

Listen to "John Vuli Gate" on Apple Music:

Listen to "John Vuli Gate" on Spotify:

Music
Photo by Don Paulsen/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Hugh Masekela's New York City Legacy

A look back at the South African legend's time in New York City and his enduring presence in the Big Apple.

In Questlove's magnificent documentary, Summer of Soul, he captures a forgotten part of Black American music history. But in telling the tale of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, the longtime musician and first-time filmmaker also captures a part of lost South African music history too.

Among the line-up of blossoming all-stars who played the Harlem festival, from a 19-year-old Stevie Wonder to a transcendent Mavis Staples, was a young Hugh Masekela. 30 years old at the time, he was riding the wave of success that came from releasing Grazing in the Grass the year before. To watch Masekela in that moment on that stage is to see him at the height of his time in New York City โ€” a firecracker musician who entertained his audiences as much as he educated them about the political situation in his home country of South Africa.

The legacy Masekela sowed in New York City during the 1960s remains in the walls of the venues where he played, and in the dust of those that are no longer standing. It's in the records he made in studios and jazz clubs, and on the Manhattan streets where he once posed with a giant stuffed zebra for an album cover. It's a legacy that still lives on in tangible form, too, in the Hugh Masekela Heritage Scholarship at the Manhattan School of Music.

The school is the place where Masekela received his education and met some of the people that would go on to be life-long bandmates and friends, from Larry Willis (who, as the story goes, Masekela convinced to give up opera for piano) to Morris Goldberg, Herbie Hancock and Stewart Levine, "his brother and musical compadre," as Mabusha Masekela, Bra Hugh's nephew says.

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