BBC 1Xtra release new documentary focusing on amapiano
Featuring everyone from DBN Gogo to Major League DJz, it tracks the story of how the genre shook the world
A new documentary exploring the growth and popularity of amapiano is out now, and it features some big names in the genre.
Made by BBC 1 Xtra, this documentary features some of the biggest stars in one of the world’s fastest-growing genres - from Major League DJz, to DBN Gogo to Daliwonga and more.
It also features guest appearances from Davido, DJ Edu (1Xtra) and Jermiah Asiamah (1Xtra).
Titled ‘This is Amapiano’, it takes us through the genre through the eyes of who it was popularised by. Filmed in South Africa, watchers can see how the genre has soared on home soil and then track how it has taken off worldwide.
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It also explores how the TikTok dance challenges that have birthed from this genre has contributed to the genre’s fast-rising popularity - by bringing a local sound from South Africa and quickly spreading it through the world through the internet.
The full, extended version of the documentary — available on iPlayer — also dives into the contribution of women to the genre. It analyses how the genre has made new superstars and cultural figureheads that were birthed in the underground and have burst into the mainstream.
In June, we spoke to amapiano superstars Scorpion Kings about the genre's rise. “Amapiano has really taken everyone by surprise, its remarkable growth around the world is something that is so cool to see, just being part of the evolution is really cool,” DJ Maphorisa said to Mixmag.
“It's South Africa and Africa’s time to really shine and amapiano is here to stay. Amapiano hasn’t even reached its full potential globally, the genre has so many variations at the moment, eg. “Sgija”, and “Tech” piano that is already crossing over but regardless it will always be amapiano.
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Read the full feature with the Scorpion Kings here. In 2020, we tracked the initial rise of the genre as it started to take over the world, read about it here.
Watch the first 16 minutes of BBC1 Xtra’s ‘This is Amapiano’ below. The full version of the documentary can be found on iPlayer here.
Aneesa Ahmed is Mixmag's Digital Intern, follow her on Twitter