Who started Amapiano in Nigeria

Niniola Started Amapiano in Nigeria. Here is why

Who started Amapiano in Nigeria? 

Twitter has been agog recently on who started or originated Amapiano in Nigeria and it seems nobody will hear the end of it. Let’s dig into research and clear up the rumors, shall we? Who started Amapiano in Nigeria?


Amapiano is a major South-African music genre that emerged in South Africa in 2012. It is a style of House music.


Who Started Amapiano in Nigeria?

Niniola started Amapiano in Nigeria. 85% of her discography has more Amapiano interpolation than any other artist in Nigerians, and this made her popularize the Amapiano sound in Nigeria.

Also, Amapiano originated in 2012 in South Africa as a style of House music. This was around the time Niniola started her music career and launched her critically acclaimed  single “Maradona ” which shook South Africa.

She also revealed that her style of music is Afro-house which serves various interpolations of Amapiano.



Her other songs like “Magun” ft Busiswa, “Addicted” and especially the critically acclaimed “Maradona” sampled Amapiano retrospectively.


The Larger Conversation: Who started Amapiano in Nigeria?

While the conversation of who started Amapiano in Nigeria gets really hot with DJ Maphorisa and May D claiming that they did. It’s not as simple as that.

Dj maphorisa has a good claim, seeing that he is a South African producer who has worked with a lot of Nigerian artists.

These people have definitely sampled Amapiano in Nigeria years back, as well as several other new artists like Zinoleesky.

Who started amapiano in nigeria

Even Davido has sampled Amapiano, and Wizkid’s latest song “Bad to me” has some influence of Amapiano too.

The “who started Amapiano in Nigeria” conversation is not really a worthwhile one because Amapiano is not a Nigerian sound and Nigerians cannot claim to originate or start a sound that existed already. 

AfroFusion Meaning: What does AfroFusion really mean?

So while credit may be given to the likes of Niniola and DJ Maphorisa, Amapiano originated in South Africa and it doesn’t really matter who started it in Nigeria as it is not a Nigerian sound.

It’s just like how Afrobeats is now being sampled in America but there is no growing conversation on who started Afrobeats in America.

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Amapiano is a style of house music that emerged in South Africa in 2012. It is a hybrid of deep house, jazz and lounge music characterized by synths, airy pads[clarification needed] and wide percussive basslines.

It is distinguished by high-pitched piano melodies, Kwaito basslines, low tempo 90s South African house rhythms and percussions from another local subgenre of house known as Bacardi

Niniola started amapiano in Nigeria

Although the genre gained popularity in Katlehong, the township east of Johannesburg, there is a lot of ambiguity and debate concerning its origins, with various accounts of the musical styles in the Johannesburg townships – Soweto, Alexandra, Vosloorus and Katlehong.

Because of the genre’s similarities with Bacardi, some people assert the genre began in Pretoria.[5]Various accounts as to who formed the popular genre make it impossible to accurately pinpoint its origins.

An important element of the genre is the use of the “log drum”, a wide percussive bassline, whose creation has been attributed to MDU aka TRP. Amapiano pioneer Kabza De Small stated:

I don’t know what happened. I don’t know how he figured out the log drum. Amapiano music has always been there, but he’s the one who came up with the log drum sound.

These boys like experimenting. They always check out new plug-ins. So when Mdu figured it out, he ran with it.

In 2019, the genre experienced increased popularity across the African continent with noted increases in digital streams and chart successes in countries far from its South African origin.[10]

In 2022, the American online music store Beatport added the genre to its platform with it own dedicated charts and playlists.

Amapiano Singers/musicians 
Gaba Cannal
Lamiez Holworthy
Mr Jazzi
Josiah De Disciple
Killer Kau
DJ Maphorisa
MFR Souls
De Mthuda
Nia Pearl
Reason (South African rapper)
Rethabile Khumalo
Moonchild Sanelly
Sha Sha (singer)
Kabza de Small
Samthing Soweto
Young Stunna


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