South Africans Should Learn From Nigerians: DJ Maphorisa On Amapiano Growth

As the debate on Amapiano rages on, DJ Maphorisa has added his own voice saying that Nigerians should take a leaf from the Nigerian business model in terms of managing the business side of music.

The debate was sparked by U.S. singer Swae Lee who innocently expressed his excitement about singing on an Amapiano beat but credited Nigeria.

‘’Wait till y’all hear Swae Lee on Amapiano,’’ he wrote on Twitter, followed by an emoji of the Nigerian flag.

This angered South Africans who lay claim to the Amapiano genre.

Amapiano is a subgenre of music that emerged in South Africa in the mid-2010s. It is a hybrid of deep house, jazz, and lounge music characterised by synths and wide percussive basslines.

Swae Lee triggered an online debate about the origin of Amapiano music. Photo: Reuters
Swae Lee triggered an online debate about the origin of Amapiano music. Photo: Reuters

What Swae Lee did not anticipate was the swift reaction that followed.

The comments under his post were flooded mostly by South Africans who were enraged that he had dared to suggest Amapiano is a music genre synonymous with Nigeria.

In less than an hour, over 3,900 comments flooded his timeline, spiraling into a fiercely debated topic.

‘’Amapiano is a South African genre; do your research,” tweeted @SA Hip Hop 247.

‘’This is the second international artist making this mistake,’’ wrote an enraged @iamdavejr.

@iamdavejr apparently was referencing the 2022 controversy over the same genre after South African artist DJ Maphorisa called out a fan for suggesting Nigerian music star Davido popularised the Amapiano in a Twitter post.

However, DJ Maphorisa said that South Africans should copy a thing or two from Nigerians and emulate how they conduct business. He posted a video with these words;

Swae Lee defends his comments on Amapiano

As the backlash swirled and became a hot and trending topic, Swae Lee came back on social media to clear the air.

‘’I never discredited anybody. Sorry y’all read it that way. I never said anything about its origins in that tweet. I’m not taking that away from anybody.”

Swae Lee further disclosed that he was partly Nigerian, and that was why he had used the flag.

But his biggest worry is the apparent division among Africans, which he says music has yet to heal.

‘’I think this has just opened my eyes to a whole lot of problems that we have, you know, this division… What’s up with this division? We need to come together and power each other,’’ he pleaded in a follow-up video posted on his Twitter page.

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