A distinct sound is currently vibing on social feeds around the world: the deep house, log-drum driven basslines and soulful piano melodies of “Amapiano.” While Amapiano dance challenges are currently sweeping TikTok, the streets of South Africa have been thrumming with its sound for years.
Seeping out of car windows and overflowing from clubs, Amapiano is more than a genre of music — it is influencing style and dance and making an impact on South Africa’s music industry. Believed to have started in 2012, this underground trend exploded in popularity during the Covid-19 pandemic, and has been on the rise ever since.
“We noticed a lot of our youths at the end of 2019 starting to use Amapiano music to create their food videos, their dance videos, their fashion videos, memes. And we really saw people embracing the genre and wanting to engage with it,” says Yuvir Pillay, music operations manager at TikTok South Africa.