The South African House music scene continues to evolve by reinventing itself, if music unites then house music unites eternally. House music is constructed by many sub-genres but Gqom and Amapiano currently have party goers ‘doing the most’, as they would say. However, there are music fanatics that will argue that the two sub-genres take their roots from kwaito?
Gqom and Amapiano are undoubtedly the most played and spoken about genres in the South African music industry currently. Even though the two genres come from opposite sides of the house music spectrum, they both emerged from the townships- in Durban and Pretoria respectively.
iGqom was conceived in the backrooms of then up-and-coming house producers in Durban and found an audience in people who lived in the townships. This genre of electronic dance music emerged in the early 2010’s. It developed out of South African house music, Kwaito and Hip-Hop. Gqom is typified by minimal, raw and repetitive sound with heavy bass beats. The gqom sound was popularised by artist like DJ Tira, Destruction Boyz and Babes Wodumo to name a few.
From taxi rides in Soshanguve and Mamelodi to street bashes in Mapetla and Mohlakeng the Amapiano sound is re-forming the sound of house music in South Africa. Amapiano is a new sound which seems to have originated in the capital city of Pretoria. The sound which is known as “Amapiano” is a mix of deep house, Qqom all mixed in with the Jazzy, soulful sound of the piano. Pioneers in the Amapiano sound include Dj Maphorisa, Kabza de Small and Dj Sumbody.
The two genres have taken music in South Africa to another level, each sound captures the evolution of music culture that is inspired by the township life. The sounds of Gqom and Amapiano are not only locally recognised but have inspired international artists and DJs who have either drawn inspiration from the sound or dance moves associated with the genres.