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Major League DJz on The Growth of Amapiano: It's going to have a lot of sub-genres

Major League DJz foresee the birth of more amapiano subgenres.

South African producer and deejay duo Major League DJz are some of the country's established artists who have pivoted to the popular amapiano sound.

Recently, in an interview with DJ Cuppy in her Apple Music radio show Africa Now, the duo shared their reasoning for the switch to the popular house music subgenre:

"It was a bit worrying, but we basically knew what we were trying to do. You know, dance is a very big genre in Africa and the world alone. So, moving into that space wasn't that hard, but we just had to tell the fans like, 'This is how we're moving.' And now, and this is how we make touring."

The duo also shared their views on the possible future of amapiano.

"It's going to have a lot of sub-genres in all of piano," they said. "It's already having sub-genres, just like Kwaito piano, there's like deep house piano, there's tech-piano already. There is afro-piano and there's soulful piano. So like [our song] "Dinaledi" is soulful piano. And there's kwaito, kwaito, kwaito, African kwaito piano. So yeah, so it's probably going to grow. There's going to be afro-beat piano, you know? So, you just need to let the genre grow, that's part of growth."

All the subgenres they mentioned already exist. Amapiano basslines are lifted from kwaito and artists from outside South Africa have already adopted the genre and are incorporating it into their music. Portmanteaus such as Afro-piano, gengepiano (gengetone and amapiano) are already being used by artists from Nigeria and Tanzania respectively. More about that here.

Read: 21 Amapiano Songs By Artists From Outside South Africa To Stream Right Now

The duo also broke down the meaning of their latest EP What's The Levol? (2020). "'What's the levol?' is a slang that you have in South Africa. Like, 'What are we on about right now?" So at one point, snakes returning in South Africa. People are using snakes for muti and all those things," said the duo, and further adding:

"'What's the Levol?' is the energy we wanted to have in summer, it was a festive EP. So, it's more street anthems than songs like "Dinaledi", more chanting anthems on that EP. It's not very musical like Piano Chill. So that was the theme around it."

Listen to the full episode of Africa Now as heard on Sunday's live broadcast on Apple Music.

Read our coverage of amapiano here.

Interview

Kofi Jamar Switches Lanes In 'Appetite for Destruction'

The Ghanaian rapper and "Ekorso" hitmaker presents a different sound in his latest EP.

The drill scene in Ghana has been making waves across the continent for some time now. If you're hip to what a crop of young and hungry artists from the city of Kumasi in Ghana and beyond have been doing over the past year, then you already know about rapper Kofi Jamar.

Towards the end of November last year he dropped one of the biggest drill songs to emerge from Ghana's buzzing drill scene, the popular street anthem "Ekorso." In the December and January that followed, "Ekorso" was the song on everyone's lips, the hip-hop song that took over the season, with even the likes of Wizkid spotted vibing to the tune.

Currently sitting at over 10 million streams across digital streaming platforms, the song topped charts, even breaking records in the process. "Ekorso" maintained the number one spot on Apple Music's Hip-Hop/Rap: Ghana chart for two months uninterrupted, a first in the history of the chart. It also had a good stint at number one of the Ghana Top 100 chart as well, among several other accolades.

Even though he's the creator of what could be the biggest song of Ghana's drill movement till date, Kofi Jamar doesn't plan on replicating his past music or his past moves. He has just issued his second EP, a 6-track project titled Appetite for Destruction, and it would surprise you to know that there isn't a single drill song on it. Although drill played a huge role in his meteoric rise, he wants to be known as way more than just a drill rapper. He wants to be known as a complete and versatile artist, unafraid to engage in any genre — and he even looks forward to creating his own genre of music during the course of his career.

We spoke to Kofi Jamar about his latest EP, and he tells us about working with Teni, why he's gravitating away from drill to a new sound, and more. Check out our conversation below.

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