By Bantu Ndiki
Amapiano – a music genre, a mood lifter, a subculture.
Before being widely known on the corner of every South African groove spot, Amapiano was just a branch, a sub-genre of deep house without a title. After picking up on local streets, starting in Pretoria and traveling and transitioning through Johannesburg as a slower version, Amapiano was dubbed and commercialized to what we know now – a combination of jazz, house music and kwaito – A uniquely South African delight.
Amapiano, like all things South African, is supported by fashion, lingo and dance moves, this makes it a subculture, like the Skhotane and Spinning movements. Thato Phiri, a Public Relations Officer from Universal Music Recording Company, praises the culture of Amapiano locally as a growing trend within the music industry, and we can definitely trust his word. One of Thato’s biggest responsibilities is to push and promote artists through organizing media interviews to build positive reputations. He is currently based in the business hub of Johannesburg, but works with artists country-wide, so he has a deep knowledge of the game. “The role I play is identifying opportunities for musicians to ensure they are publicly seen and spoken about through new age and tradition media. In short, I work in Public Relations,” said Thato.
Thato works for the music label that produces the most local Amapiano artists, like DJ Sthokie, one of the pioneers of the movement. Amapiano has offered a lot to our youth through event hosting, groove gatherings, production, deejaying – it has had a positive impact on the youth, garnering creativity and combining it with simply having a good time.
Thato Phiri and Universal music has made quite a lot of positive difference in the young upcoming artists and South African youth as the whole through music of Amapiano genre.