Who Brought Amapiano to Nigeria? Davido or DJ Maphorisa?

A certain fan, recently, claimed Davido is responsible for the popularization of Amapiano in Africa. In response to that, DJ Maphorisa rebuffed the claim, stating that he and Kebza De Small made the first song (titled Sponono), in the company of Burna Boy and Wizkid, that put Amapiano in the limelight in 2019.

The recent debate about the introducer of Amapiano to Nigerians was fuelled by the condemnation of Wizkid’s recent attempt at Amapiano with his newly released single titled Bad To Me.

Since then, an interview showing DJ Maphorisa telling a journalist that Wizkid was the first to put him on an Amapiano sound has been in circulation.

Davido, in defence of his fan, countered the South African DJ, Maphorisa, saying the DJ never liked him. Davido’s brother also joined in the claim, in support of Davido.

Both Kddo and May D were also in the conversation to claim responsibility for the popularization of Amapiano in Africa. It should be noted that the genre Amapiano was formed in 2011 in South Africa.

Davido, Wizkid, Burna Boy, DJ Maphorisa, May D and Mafikizolo

A huge fraction of the listeners across Africa have since argued that certain collaborations between Davido and Uhuru of South Africa in 2014, Soweto Baby between DJ Maphorisa and Wizkid in 2018 blew Amapiano up. However, these songs don’t sound Amapiano, others argued.

People who argue that Zinoleesky introduced Amapiano to Nigeria cited his Kilofeshe of 2020, but then Mayorkun’s Of Lagos dropped few months before Kilofeshe. Niniola’s Maradona of 2018 is also in the conversation.

While many may be tempted to name Master KG’s 2020 Jerusalema an Amapiano sound, it is important to note that the sound has been regarded as a Gospel House Music. A House Music is a genre that can be further broken into Amapiano and others. All from South Africa!

Amapiano interpreted as “for the piano” is a sound that originated from South Africa but artistes from neighboring countries like Tanzania have also fought for inclusion in its creation in recent times.

The early 2010s, 2013, 14 and 15 specifically, saw the likes of Mafikizolo penetrate Nigeria with their uptempo sounds. However, it was not clear whether or not it is Amapiano.

In all of these, May D’s claim seems to be the most correct. The song Happiness released by Mafikizolo featured May D in 2013, two years after the creation of Amapiano. Playing the six minute song again at the moment, one notices some elements of Amapiano on the song, especially the tempo of the drums and the extensive use of the piano.

Sam George Mac is a music journalist known for the reviews of several music albums and songs. He is a singer and songwriter of Afrobeats, Dancehall, Highlife and RnB with the stage name SGM — a graduate of Mass Communication from The West African Union University, Cotonou.

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