Amapiano female artists are taking the sound to the world

March 23rd 2023, 11:49:11 am

Amapiano is taking African music to a whole new level with artists across the continent delivering hit songs through the South African dominating genre.

Ami Faku, DBN Gogo, Msaki, DJ Zhinle

Spotify data highlights four ways that streaming is helping to elevate the voices of women in the genre.

Some of the top streamed women Amapiano artists over the past 90 days include Boohle, Babalwa M, Kamo Mphela, Sha Sha, Msaki and Lady Du.

Spotify has also been championing Amapiano artists through programmes like EQUAL, Fresh Finds and RADAR and its highly popular 'Amapiano Grooves' playlist.


Collabs between Amapiano artists and women artists whose music is not typically part of the genre, are further driving music discovery. Artists like Ami Faku, who calls her genre of music “Modern Afro Soul”, Msaki who is most known for her folk sound, and even Nigeria’s Tiwa Savage, all feature in the most streamed Amapiano tracks featuring a female artist, because of collabs that they have done with artists like DJ Maphorisa and Kabza De Small.

Spotify data shows that about 43% of all Amapiano music is being listened to outside of South Africa- showcasing its massive international appeal.

Collabs are not just driving genre- bending, they’re also driving exports of women artists’ music. 'Love and Loyalty (Believe)' which features on the Wakanda Forever soundtrack is the second most exported track, while 'Abalele' and Mina Nawe, Mashudu’s collab with Soa Mattrix rank in the top 10. Uncle Waffles’ 'Tanzania' featuring Tony Duardo, Sino Msolo and BoiBizza is also one of the most exported tracks.

It’s no surprise that female Amapiano artists are speaking directly to Gen Z. Spotify data shows that the top female Amapiano artists like Boohle, Babalwa M and Msaki are all most popular among 18-24 year old audiences with the number of streams dropping off in older audience brackets. One artist who appears to have bucked this trend is Makhadzi, whose streams in the 35-44 year age bracket are only about 2 percent lower than in the 18-24 year old audience.

When it comes to where people are listening, Makhadzi is the most streamed female artist in Pretoria and Johannesburg, where Amapiano has its roots. She is followed by Babalwa M and Msaki in second and third place. In Cape Town, Msaki has been the most streamed female Amapiano artist over the past 90 days and Boohle is the most streamed female Amapiano artist in Lagos and in Nairobi.

Adeayo Adebiyi
Adeayo Adebiyi is a Music Reporter at Pulse.


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