5 Most Influential Amapiano Artists

5 Most Influential Amapiano Artists. Even during the pandemic, amapiano, a bright, jazzy dance music culled from local house flavors and global R&B, has persisted as the country’s top genre, according to prominent South African artists and DJs.

Scorpion Kings (DJ Maphorisa & Kabza De Small)

DJ Maphorisa born-Themba Sekowe is a South African record producer, DJ and vocalist. He rose to stardom after producing several hit singles for artists of multiple music genres such as Uhuru(“Y-Yjukuta”). Kabza De Small (Kabelo Motha) made headlines when he became one of the first Amapiano artists to make the FORBES AFRICA 30 Under 30 class in 2021.

Major League DJz

At the tender age of five, twins Bandile and Banele Mbere (above), who were born in Boston in the United States, moved to South Africa. When they were 16, they threw the ‘Robot Party’ which ended up changing their lives. Professionally, the duo started off as promoters, having hosted some of the country’s biggest parties. “So when we started DJing, we started at our own parties when artists or DJs wouldn’t make it to their sets on time,” Mbere tells FORBES AFRICA, from the United Kingdom where the duo is currently performing


The 25-year-old artist was born and bred in South Africa’s capital city, Pretoria, in the large settlement of Ga-Rankuwa. Sebetso’s breakout song may have been Ke Star but according to the artist, from his repertoire, the extended play (EP) that defined his career was the one he did with Major League DJz called Ase Trap Tse ke Pina Tsa Ko Kasi (It’s Not Trap It’s Music From the Hood).

Lady Du

Hailing from the vibrant township of Vosloorus, East of Johannesburg, Duduzile Ngwenya, also known as Lady Du, has actually not been on the Amapiano scene for long but is already dominating the genre.

Mr jazziQ

One thing most prevalent during the pandemic was the love for dance challenges, such as the #JerusalemaChallenge. The one that took the country by storm was created by this female Amapiano artist, KwaZulu- Natal-born Mandisa Radebe who had the whole country doing the #DakiweChallenge in May this year.

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