Moroccan producer and DJ Flomine, headliner of a short film made by Spotify

Moroccan producer and DJ Flomine is headlining the new short film ‘Music That Moves’ produced by Spotify.

Thus, “Spotify honors Amapiano, a musical genre that continues to grow in Morocco, but also throughout Europe, North Africa, East Asia and indeed beyond,” a Spotify statement read.

“Hot music from South Africa, the Amapiano is now merging with Moroccan Gnawa music to create a new artistic conglomerate based on the exchange of cultures”, adds the same source.

Moroccan sound engineer and DJ, Flomine, who is one of Spotify’s hottest artists, said: “When you mix Amapiano with traditional Moroccan music (gnawa), you immediately get a incredible connection between the two genders and the two cultures”.

“Amapiano has this spiritual vibration and this particular energy that brings people together”, added Flomine, noting that “in Morocco but also elsewhere, music lovers are becoming more and more fond of musical mixtures between the South African style and the Moroccan style.

Amapiano is a hybrid music that combines house, jazz and lounge. This music, which serves as the plot for the new short film produced by Spotify and entitled “Music That Moves” by Spotify, takes center stage more than ever. Listening to Amapiano in Morocco has increased by 1486% over the last two years on Spotify, thanks to the enormous success of titles such as Ameno Amapiano Remix by Goya Menor and Nektunez, as well as Ghorba by Flomine, points out Spotify.

Amapiano began to emerge commercially in South Africa in 2019, and then quickly spread to other countries such as Japan, France and Morocco. Spotify spoke to several famous South African artists from amapiano. Among the artists interviewed by Spotify, we find DBN Gogo (present on Spotify’s Radar Africa playlist) and Kamo Mphela.

The latter explain why the Amapiano resonates so strongly at home and elsewhere. DBN Gogo describes it as a “way of life”, but also as the first black African musical genre to break through since Afrobeat, while Kamo Mphela describes Amapiano as “a culture…a movement”.

Many international artists are of the same opinion, like the Japanese dancer FATIMATA, who evoked a real “feeling of closeness” when listening to this musical genre, while the French artist Youssoupha, born in Kinshasa, described the Amapiano in his interview as “music that flows by itself”.

These comments reflect the relaxed style of this music which knew how to touch the international public, and from which Youssoupha himself drew inspiration for his last album Neptune Terminus (Origins), but always highlighting his characteristic style which consists in combining passionate music with lyrics denouncing racial and social injustices.

For his part, Kamo Mphela did not fail to highlight the role of technology which, through platforms such as Spotify, makes it possible to discover new artists.

These interviews have thus made it possible to draw a series of conclusions in addition to providing a clear overview of the future of the Amapiano…

The freedom to reinterpret and reinvent

The versatility and freedom that Amapiano offers as a musical genre has encouraged this incredible sound to travel the world.

“This music invites sharing more than ever,” said DBN Gogo. “How to interpret this music? How to feel it? How to put your grain of salt in it? I don’t think it’s possible without sharing.”

For his part, Flomine underlined: “the Amapiano mixes with many live instruments, it is a musical style in its own right and which is entirely new…. This music is now very popular in Europe and the United Kingdom. It’s like Moroccan music which previously only stayed in Morocco, and which today is becoming more and more popular in other countries”.

DJ Mitokon, who is part of the Japanese DJ group TYO GQOM, adds: “The Amapiano has its unique version in each country. Amapiano artists around the world will be able to have a stronger relationship with each other by playing together. »

An intercultural exchange born in South Africa While Nigeria had recently been considered a veritable hotbed of culture for African music, thanks in particular to artists such as Burna Boy, Wizkid, Tems and DaVido, the Amapiano is increasingly increasingly occupying the front of the world stage.

Listening to Spotify outside of Sub-Saharan Africa has grown by more than 563% on the platform over the past two years, thanks to major collaborations between South African artists from Amapiano, Gqom artists and world stars such as Beyoncé, Gorillaz, or Jorja Smith. And with over 920 million global plays of Amapiano to date, it seems likely that plays on the platform will hit 1 billion by July this year.

Develop the scene through dance

The appeal of Amapiano is deeply rooted in dance and rhythm. This is why platforms such as TikTok have helped export movement and make it accessible to millions of people around the world, as Kamo Mphela says: “I will always consider dance to be a universal language, because everyone is able to identify with it”.

For his part, DBN Gogo added, “People don’t need to understand the lyrics as long as there’s a dance to go with it.”

Dancers such as the French Andy Dlamini or the Egyptian Yara Saleh have helped propel the Amapiano to new heights through social media, reaching in particular a female-sounding public as Dlamini explains: “to love such music is part of my DNA. I’m very aware of my feminine energy…I just realized that there’s so much power in my movements as a woman, and this music contributes to that”.

For his part, the artist Mphela summarized in a few words the impact generated by social media: “I always wanted to explode via social media, and that’s what happened. I blew up via a viral video and built my career off of it. Today, global superstars contact me, and I am extremely proud of it! “.

The future of Amapiano?

As was the case with Afrobeat, amapiano has come a long way in a very short time. It is a movement that is set to grow and expand as cultures and scenes around the world begin to reinterpret this sound and make it their own.

As DBN Gogo says, “Every day a new Amapiano song pops up. Every day, we see a new dance, a new artist, a new DJ, a new producer. With so much creativity and potential for reinvention around the world, the only limit is the sky for Amapiano! “.

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