Amapiano Grooves on Spotify: The Power of Export

Amapiano Grooves is arguably South Africa’s hottest cultural export right now and to showcase the genre, Spotify is hosting media and influencers from across the continent on an Amapiano Tourism experience which shares the roots of the genre, the power of collaborations and how streaming is helping to export local music to the world.

Designed around some of Spotify’s most popular Amapiano playlists, the tour highlights South African and Amapiano culture for guests from Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana and South Africa. In partnership with South African Tourism, it starts off with Amapiano 101- detailing the background of the genre, and giving guests a tour of its origins in townships like Mamelodi but also exploring other popular Amapiano spots in Soweto. The Amapiano Grooves segment of the tour showcases the impact of clubs on the music. The tour also tells a cultural story, like Mogodu Monday- the tradition of celebrating the least popular day of the week with Mogodu or tripe, and music and gives participants the opportunity to meet with local artists in the studio and see where the music happens.

Managing Director for Spotify in Sub-Saharan Africa, Jocelyne Muhutu-Remy says “Amapiano’s unique sound and infectious beats have captivated audiences around the world, and  are sure to keep fans dancing for years to come. As more artists emerge and push the boundaries of the genre, there is no doubt that Amapiano is set to become a mainstay in the global music scene.”

One the top five exported Amapiano artists in South Africa, Focalistic, dropped by for the first leg of the tour at one of the birthplaces of Amapiano, Jack Buhda in Mamelodi to share the genre’s origin story. 

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“We would come here and listen to Amapiano sets for three hours. We wanted to escape from the noise and do our own thing as Africans, speak in our tongue. Amapiano makes an imprint, it’s emotions. Amapiano is spiritual,” said the Champion Sounds artist.

Spotify data tells the story of just how popular Amapiano is right now, both at home and all around the world- with close to 2 billion streams last year, representing a 143% increase year on year. The genre has garnered a huge following, with more than 240K playlists featuring Amapiano in the title and over 10M playlists featuring at least one Amapiano track. What’s more, over 40% of Amapiano streams come from listeners outside South Africa.

Nigerian artist WurlD, who also attended the first day of the tour explained why Amapiano is so popular around the world: “Music is spiritual, Amapiano is spiritual. I was a fan, watching from a distance. Music is energy, what people are experiencing with Amapiano is the heart and soul of the people of South Africa.”

Listeners on Spotify love tuning into the genre on weekday afternoons, with Friday evening peaks. Amapiano Grooves, Spotify’s biggest Amapiano playlist, is most popular among 18-24 year olds, with listeners hailing from South Africa, UK, USA, Mozambique, Botswana, and Zimbabwe.

Here are the top exported Amapiano tracks on Spotify:

  1. Abo Mvelo (feat. Mellow & Sleazy & M.J)
  2. Love & Loyalty (Believe)
  3. Ameno Amapiano Remix (You Wanna Bamba)
  4. Big Flexa
  5. Hamba Wena
  6. WATAWI (feat. Davido, Focalistic & Abidoza)
  7. Abalele
  8. Mina Nawe
  9. Champion Sound
  10. Tanzania
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And here are the top exported Amapiano artists on Spotify:

  1. DJ Maphorisa
  2. Kabza De Small
  3. Focalistic
  4. Young Stunna
  5. Mellow & Sleazy
  6. DBN Gogo
  7. Costa Titch
  8. Major League Djz
  9. Kamo Mphela
  10. Daliwonga

Spotify’s platform has helped Amapiano expand its reach, connecting the genre to a diverse global audience. With its steady growth and dedicated fanbase, Amapiano is poised to continue its success on Spotify and beyond.

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Odipo Riaga
Managing Editor at KachTech Media
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