10 Women Of Amapiano Right Now
10 Women Of Amapiano Right Now. With the rise of amapiano comes a renaissance for South African music, as the “voice of the people” known as kwaito finds itself evolving to create new means of expression in the global pop-culture conversation. House music has always been a male-dominated genre, and South Africa is a constant battleground for women who are changing the narratives around their contributions to the country’s progress.
Check out these women of amapiano right now:
1 Babalwa M
The unanimously named “queen of private school amapiano,” Babalwa M is best known for her gleaming vocals on pioneer Kelvin Momo’s productions, such as “iMali,” on the 2020 smash EP Bayeke.
Vosloorus-hailing Buhle Manyati, known fondly as Boohle, is responsible for writing some of the biggest songs amapiano has had on offer, from the Cassper Nyovest and Abidoza accented “Siyathandana” (which has just surpassed 6 million views on Youtube), to the Josiah De Disciple-produced “Mama”, which recently got a powerful remix by Afro-house master Da Capo.
3 Nicole Elocin
Raised between the Eastern Cape and Kempton Park, Nicole Elocin started her music career at the age of 11 in a church choir. She started pursuing her musical career by attending studio sessions with local producers Tammy T and Phlexx Roku, and by 20, Nicole had her amapiano debut on the Money Heist EP with the Tyler ICU, decimating on her rendition of the Italian anti-fascist anthem “Bella Ciao” in a way that only amapinao can carry a pop culture reference.
Basetsana Maluleka (or Bassie) is one of the most well loved singer-songwriters to enter the game in previous years. Finding her feet from Windmill Park, Boksburg, going on to conduct a local choir at 18, to co-creating smash hits with amapiano pioneers MFR Souls in “Bathandwa” along with the Boohle-featured “Sizani” produced immaculately by T-Man SA, Bassie has enjoyed many highlights on her path to greatness including a stellar appearance on the impactful Channel O Lockdown House Party in Season 1.
5 Soulful G
south African National School of Arts alumnus Gugu Bikani, also known as Soulful G, shook South Africa with her immaculately layered vocal delivery on “uThando ” alongside skilled super producers Shaun 101 and Soa Mattrix. At just 21 years old, the song was an instant staple, describing the transcendent love only the ancestors could conjure, evident in the responses she received every time she took to the stage.
6 Lady Du
Lady Du is a South African Amapiano artist and DJ. She started working on her music career since she was nine years old but struggled to gain recognition in the competitive music scene in Mzansi. She had her breakout many years later in 2020 after almost giving up.
7 Nia Pearl
“Queen of Gems” Nia Pearl grew up in Umtata in the Eastern Cape, singing in her school choir. After high school, Nia went on to study contemporary music at university, going on to record with Mobi Dixon, then toward amapiano with Kabza De Small, Tyler ICU, Major League and Mas Musiq.
8 Kamo Mphela
Kamogelo Mphela (born 29 November 1999), is a South African dancer and singer. She became an internet celebrity after she posted a video of her dancing on her social media account. Her passion for dancing started at an early age when she accompanied her father who worked at YFM, and at events where she would perform on stage and dance which eventually led to her getting more exposure through live performances. She later became popular by posting videos on Instagram where she displayed her dancing skills. Before pursuing her dancing career, she had tried acting and was an extra on the TV show Isibaya. She later realized she did not enjoy acting and started performing as a gig dancer. Her dancing skills eventually got her the name “Queen of Amapiano”
9 Bontle Smith
Since Tembisa-born Bontle Smith joined a vocal group called “Current of Blackness” in varsity, she hasn’t looked back. Meeting with DJ Giggs Superstar from the legendary house label Soul Candi led to a feature on Deep House Chronicles 4 igniting a love for house music which would eventually bring her toward amapiano. After meeting with DJ Maphorisa, he agreed to sign her to his independent label New Money Gang, leading to features on Scorpion Kings’ “Lerato,” “Alalahi” on PianoHub and “Sandton” off The Return of the Scorpion Kings, the pandemic has no effect on her upward trajectory in 2020 when she established herself on MFR Soul’s “Amanikiniki” which reached 11 million views on Youtube in just five months.
MaWhoo, born Thandeka Ngema, has been pursuing a career in music since she brought her first track to a radio station in Eshowe Kwazulu Natal, at 11 years old. Turned away because she was too young, she decided to model until she could find a way toward a breakthrough. Reaching out to the iconic, yet controversial South African label Mabala Noise in 2018, she was put in touch with super-producer Heavy K and went on to record “Umshado” with him, and two songs alongside Scorpion Kings on their groundbreaking Once Upon a Time in Lockdown, each step of the way championing the belief that women should be able to express themselves however they chose — and be appreciated for it.