• Saturday, July 20, 2024
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Music lovers streamed Amapiano over 1.4 billion times in 2023 — Spotify

Afrobeats, Amapiano producers get long over-due credit

Amapiano, a South African music genre, recorded 1.4 billion streams on Spotify in 2023.

This infectious sound, which ignited a dance craze, inspiring collaborations and fusions not just in Africa but across the world, has recorded an explosion over the last decade, according to Daniel Ek, Spotify’s chief executive officer.

“The Amapiano genre has seen a crazy explosion over the last decade coming out of South Africa. In 2023 alone, the genre had 1.4 billion streams on Spotify – with 55 percent of that being played in markets outside of Africa,” he tweeted on Tuesday.

Nigeria exemplifies Amapiano’s international impact, with listenership surging by 181 percent between 2023 and 2024. To celebrate this cultural influence, Spotify launched ‘A Decade of Amapiano,’ a dedicated platform exploring the genre’s history, sounds, and future.

The initiative coincides with South Africa’s Youth Day, a significant date commemorating the fight for freedom and justice. On this platform, the global music streaming platform highlights how Amapiano empowered young South Africans, providing a platform for self-expression and creativity.

How did Amapiano gain prominence?

The COVID-19 pandemic played a pivotal role in Amapiano’s growth on Spotify. In 2020, the genre surpassed 100 million streams for the first time, followed by a significant jump to 300 million streams in 2021. According to Spotify data, Amapiano’s growth over the past decade (data as of June 2024) has seen a 345,000 percent increase in streams, over 855 million streams already in 2024, and a 153,000 percent growth in exports in the same period.

It also revealed an 87 percent increase in female Amapiano artists between 2022 and 2023, with 40 percent of the genre’s listeners being between 18 and 24 years old.

“Witnessing Amapiano’s explosion is incredibly rewarding, especially seeing how it fuels self-expression,” says Phiona Okumu, Spotify’s Head of Music for Sub-Saharan Africa.

While South Africa remains the undisputed leader in Amapiano streams, the genre has resonated with listeners worldwide. In the last decade, the top five countries streaming Amapiano on Spotify are South Africa, the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Nigeria, and Germany.

The top Amapiano artists streamed in the last 10 years are Focalistic, DJ Maphorisa, Tyler ICU, Titom, Yuppe, Kabza De Small, Mellow & Sleazy, Tumelo_za, Uncle Waffles, and Justin99.

Nigeria’s surging listenership has also led to collaborations such as Davido and Focalistic on ‘Ke Star’, AKA feat Burna Boy, Da L.E.S, and JR – ‘All Eyes On Me’, DJ Buck & Maphorisa feat Wizkid – ‘Soweto Baby’, Davido & Mafikizolo – ‘Tchelete’ among many others.