Interview
Photo via Platoon.

Interview: DJ Maphorisa Talks About Scorpion Kings' Success

The star South African DJ and producer — also one half of the Scorpion Kings alongside Kabza De Small — on their recent full-album collaboration with TRESOR and the evolution of amapiano.

On October 30, 1974 — in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo — 32-year-old Muhammad Ali beat 25-year-old George Foreman in the eighth round of the Rumble in the Jungle boxing match, reclaiming his title as heavyweight champion of the world. While amapiano champs Scorpion Kings don't need to reclaim any titles, their latest album Rumble In The Jungle — which invites Congolese singer TRESOR into the ring — draws inspiration from that fateful day.

After going round-for-round with Scorpion Kings, The Return Of The Scorpion Kings and Once Upon a Time in Lockdown, DJ Maphorisa and Kabza De Small released Rumble In The Jungle on April 9 this year. The 14-track album sees TRESOR, a three-time Best Pop Album winner at the South African Music Awards, lend his smooth, soulful voice to the amapiano sound the duo has perfected over the past few years. The two singles released so far, "Funu" and "Folosade," have hinted at the direction the Scorpion Kings have taken on their latest offering — and how they want to expand the amapiano genre.

Maphorisa, who's long earned his belt for pumping out hits for almost a decade — from Uhuru's "Y-tjukutja" and Mafikizolo's "Khona" to his own "Oncamnce" featuring Stilo Magolide, Kwesta and Zingah — spoke to OkayAfrica over Zoom. His studio has become a legendary haven for artists, both up-and-coming and established, that pass through it — including Kabza De Small, whose I Am The King of Amapiano: Sweet & Dust helped introduce amapiano to a wider audience.

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​DJ Maphorisa and Kabza De Small Enlist Tresor on Their New Amapiano Album

"Rumble In The Jungle", the latest project from dynamic duo DJ Maphorisa and Kabza De Small, in collaboration with singer TRESOR, offers a refreshingly mature and pan-African amapiano sound.