How DJ Maphorisa and Kabza De Small Changed The Amapiano Sound

These two artists definitely have a lot to give when it comes to Amapiano

By  | Apr 27, 2020, 12:47 PM

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Amapiano is one sound you keep hearing everywhere you go but somehow, you just can’t get enough of it. It doesn’t matter if you’re simply sitting at home or you’re dancing at a party. You’re still going to hear at least one track with a hint of Amapiano. But why is this genre so popular? Is it yet another Internet buzz that’d probably die off in a couple of months?

Contrary to what you probably think, Amapiano isn’t a new genre. It also didn’t come off the top of a musical genius’ head recently. Okay, maybe it did but with the number of artistes who have jumped on this genre, it’s hard to pinpoint Amapiano’s exact origins.

However, when it comes to this musical genre, two musicians are likely to jump to your head each time Amapiano is mentioned. DJ Maphorisa and Kabza De Small. Now, we aren’t saying that these artistes created the genre but they’ve definitely changed the game.

Let’s take a little walk down recent history, shall we?

Throwing it Back to Amapiano’s Origin

Like we said earlier, there are a lot of sketchy details surrounding Amapiano’s exact origins and popularity. This genre gained popularity in Guateng but there are several accounts of Amapiano originating in Soweto, Alexandra and Johannesburg townships. Think of it as a second creation story with so many different accounts about how it all started.

Since we can’t exactly pinpoint who created this awesome musical genre or where it came from, we’d just stick with the most popular account. This account claims that Amapiano began in Pretoria with DJ Mojava and was made even more popular by Pretoria Taxi Drivers.

Rumour Has It that DJ Maphorisa and Kabza De Small Changed the Game

Here’s one fact: Amapiano Music wasn’t always this popular. Before this genre took the front seat and kicked other genres to the curb, it had a confined success. It was mainly played in pubs shared around via messaging apps. However, it became mainstream thanks to popular DJs and of course, websites Like Hiphopza.

So how do DJ Maphorisa and Kabza De Small come in? This duo released mind-blowing hits by incorporating the jazzy undertones and tempo of Amapiano into their tracks. In fact, DJ Maphorisa and Kabza De Small have completely dominated the Amapiano scene.

Let’s play a little game, shall we? Think of the word “Amapiano” and think of two artistes that fit the word. Which artistes come to mind?

Now, we are definitely not mind readers or psychologists but there’s a huge chance that you thought of either DJ Maphorisa or Kabza De Small. The two artistes may have even popped up in your mind at the same time.

As such, we can safely say that these two leading artistes are the bosses of Amapiano today.

Kabza De Small

Kabza De Small is regarded as one of the pioneers of Amapiano music and for good reason. He took the entire musical world by surprise when he crept not-so-subtly into the scene. He started off with Avenue Sounds in late 2016, a mixtape that won the hearts of many musical enthusiasts all over South Africa. 

This mixtape majorly featured Amapiano which was still a relatively new genre at the time. We don’t know how he did it but Kabza managed to keep listeners intrigued and hooked on his sound till he garnered an impressive following. Maybe it was the impressive mixes or extended plays but listeners definitely loved what they were hearing.

If you’ve listened to Kabza De Small’s tracks before, there’s one fact you may have noticed. He has a pretty unique and rugged sound that’s hard to miss. However, he slowly introduced and conditioned his listeners to Amapiano by trying out and experimenting with fresh sounds like his Counterpart Vigro Deep. Little wonder he’s popularly referred to as King Of Amapiano. The title definitely suits him! 

DJ Maphorisa

While Kabza De Small was slowly causing listeners to fall in love with Amapiano, DJ Maphorisa was definitely not sleeping nor slacking. This phenomenal artiste has a reputation for creating mind-blowing hits and leaving a trail of awesome tracks on his path. We like to think of DJ Maphorisa as an expert lapidary, discovering musical gems and refining them until they shine. This DJ began his career in the 2010s, leading the waves of so many genres. 

At this point, you already know that Kabza De Small produced a unique sound, introducing listeners to a new Amapiano blend. Well, DJ Maphorisa stepped in and tweaked this unique sound, refining it until it became the high-quality sound we know and love today. 

It takes a huge amount of skills and creativity to refine a sound until it becomes phenomenal and DJ Maphorisa has proven that he has it in him. 


DJ Maphorisa and Kabza De Small have produced quite a number of mind blowing hits including Lorch, Phoyisa, Nana Thula, Sandton, Emcimbini & Vula Vala. These tracks have been amazing and have definitely refined Amapiano into a unique sound.

They also have over 5 joint amapiano albums and counting with the latest being Scorpion Kings 2 once upon a time in lockdown which he released first on Fakaza