South African House Music

List of Top Amapiano Artists and DJs

In the world of Afropop and as the international EDM and house music scene is prospering, South African house music, led by a large lineup of Amapiano artists, stands in a league of its own.

Amapiano originally emerged as a fusion of sounds of South African house music, like Kwaito, and global trends in music. The original South African house music of the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s was Kwaito music, which starred Lebo Mathosa, Tkzee, Trompies, Arthur Mafokate, Mandoza, Mdu Masilela, Thebe, and DJ Cleo. Outside of Kwaito music, other notable South African house influencers were the likes of Black Coffee, Oskido, DJ Zinhle, DJ Kent, Heavy-K, Mono T, and Euphonik.

The origins of Amapiano can be traced to communities of Pretoria and Johannesburg, where young producers and musicians began experimenting with different sounds during some time around the 2010s. This experimental approach resulted in a sound characterized by its tempo, melodies, and intricate percussions. Amapiano’s popularity rapidly grew within South Africa as local DJs incorporated it into their sets, and it soon expanded across southern Africa.

Currently there is a rise of new genre of South African house and dance music, called Gqom. An innovative style that is characterized by its minimalistic and raw beats that draw inspiration from traditional African rhythms, house music, and techno. Beginning to emerge during the 2010s, the word “gqom” itself is derived from the Zulu language and translates to “hit” or “drum.” Now, gqom is slowly becoming a South African phenomenon.

Despite the legacy of Kwaito music and the recent rise of Gqom, Amapiano still reigns king, being one of Africa’s leading genres. Amapiano’s popularity has led South Africa to produce some of the world’s greatest DJs and producers.

Top 25 Amapiano Artists and DJs

Amapiano DJ DJ Maphoris

1. DJ Maphoris

DJ Maphorisa has been a key player in the rise of Amapiano and African house music. Since debuting in the early 2010s, DJ Maphorisa has grabbed much success with songs like “Izolo,” “Soweto Baby,” “Banyana,” and more, all helping him to become a trailblazer in South Africa.

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2. Kabza De Small

One of the true kings of amapiano, Kabza De Small has been very influential in popularizing the genre. Since his rise to fame in the late 2010s, he has created an irresistible movement, from his collaborations with DJ Maphorisa and top South African rappers like Kwesta, to his solo projects like I Am the King of Amapiano: Sweet & Dust.

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Amapiano artist Kamo Mphela

3. Kamo Mphela

Kamo Mphela entered into the limelight in the late 2010s with her electrifying dance moves before taking her talents into the music industry. Since debuting, Kamo has become a household name in the South African amapiano music scene, with hits such as “Nkulunkulu” and “Dalie.”

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4. Focalistic

Since his arrival in the early 2020s, Focalistic has perfected the artform of blending amapiano with hip-hop to creating a trademark sound. From hit records and South African anthems like “Ke Star,” to the accumulation of awards and accolades, Focalistic stands at the top of amapiano music.

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House music artist DBN Gogo

5. DBN Gogo

Following her entry into the amapiano scene during the start of the 2020s, DBN Gogo quickly became one of South Africa’s leading female DJs and music producers. Known for her electrifying sets of sounds that get any crowd moving, DBN Gogo is one of the top influencers of South Africa’s dance music scene.

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Gqom music singer Busiswa

6. Busiswa

A pioneer in the South African house music scene, Busiswa has dominated multiple forms of house music, standing at the top of the gqom, kwaito, and amapiano scenes. Following the hit record of “My Name Is,” Busiswa has been making her presence known since the early 2010s by releasing anthems like “SBWL” and “Ngoku” and albums such as Highly Flavoured and Summer Life.

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7. Uncle Waffles

Debuting in 2022 with the hit single “Tanzania,” DJ and producer Uncle Waffles has become one of the most beloved stars in amapiano music. Within a short span, she has produced multiplatinum singles, like “Yahyuppiyah” and “Echoes,” and has released several albums, including Red Dragon, Solace, and Asylum.

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Major League DJz amapiano DJs

8. Major League DJz

The dynamic duo of twin brothers Bandile and Banele Mbere, together known as the Major League DJz, have been pivotal in the amapiano movement. First appearing in the late 2000s, the Major League DJz and their Balcony Mix series has taken live music and DJing to new levels.

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Young Stunna

9. Young Stunna

With popular tracks like “Adiwele,” the Daveyton native Young Stunna is one of South Africa’s brightest young stars. Releasing the successful project of Notumato, Young Stunna has showcased a promising future as one of the next heavy hitters in amapiano music.

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Musa Keys Amapiano artists

10. Musa Keys

Producer, DJ, and award winner Musa Keys is a breakthrough artist in South African house music. Hits like “Vula Mlomo” and Davido’s “Unavailable” have not only showcased his musical versatility, but the evolving soundscape of amapiano.

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Mellow & Sleazy

11. Mellow & Sleazy

Another duo with an unique sound, Mellow & Sleazy bring a fusion of kwaito and amapiano into South Africa’s house music landscape. Several of their hits, like “Bopha,” have dominated charts and dance floors alike, a testament to their creativity.

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12. Daliwonga

Complementing the beats of amapiano with his style, Daliwonga has developed his own unique approach to the South African house and dance music scene. With popular songs like “Abo Mvelo” and projects like Dali Dal, which features “Seduces Me” and the Tyla feature track “Bana Ba,” he establish himself as talent for hit-making.

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Amapinao artists Lady Du

13. Lady Du

With a musical career that began in childhood, Lady Du has evolved into one of amapiano’s most powerful voices. Notable for her work on hits like “Dakiwe” and “Umsebenzi Wethu,” Lady Du has cemented her status as not only a house music artist but also as a voice of her generation.

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14. Felo Le Tee

A master and a wizard in the studio, Felo Le Tee has gain notoriety for his innovative productions and his numerous collaborations. His tracks, like “66,” “Midnight Prayer,” and “Dipatje Tsa Felo,” has the core elements of South African house music, but with a twist of fresh and exciting sounds.

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Pabi Cooper

15. Pabi Cooper

With hit singles like “Banyana Ke Bafana,” “Waga Bietjie,” and “Isiphithiphithi,” Pabi Cooper has positioned herself as one of the genre’s promising stars since debuting in 2021.

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16. Prince Kaybee

Prince Kaybee has been mesmerizing audiences with his blend of deep house and afro-house since the mid-2010s. With multiple awards to his name and hits like “Fetch Your Life,” “Charlotte,” “Uwrongo,” “Gugulethu,” and “Banomoya,” Kaybee is a proven groundbreaking amapiano artist.

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17. Boohle

Known for her collaborations with Busta 929 on the hit “Ngixolele” and “Hamba Wena” with Deep London, along with several of her own tracks, like “Mama” and “Singili,” Boohle has showcased her versatility across multiple spectrums of music, from soulful house to amapiano and beyond.

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18. Lady Zamar

Popular within the South African house music scene, Lady Zamar’s breakthrough album, King Zamar (2017) was a true success, earning her a multitude accolades, including several South African Music Awards. With hits like “Collide” and “Sunshine,” Lady Zamar is a queen of anthems.

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19. Busta 929

Busta 929 has been instrumental in shaping the sound of the genre. Since emerging on the scene, he has produced a number of hits, including “Mmapula,” “Gqoz Gqoz,” and “Ngixolele,” that have become anthems in the South African movement of amapiano.

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20. Makhadzi

Makhadzi, with her electrifying performances and powerful vocals, has become one of the leading lights in South African music, particularly within the Venda pop and Afro-house genres. Since her debut, Makhadzi has captivated audiences with her energy and hit songs like “Matorokisi,” showcasing her rich cultural heritage and undeniable talent.

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21. Moonchild Sanelly

Known for her signature blue hair and unique sound that she calls “Future Ghetto Punk,” Moonchild Sanelly is an unmissable force in the South African music scene. Tracks like “Bashiri” and her feature on Beyoncé’s “My Power” have catapulted her to international acclaim, solidifying her as an artist that defies conventional norms and encourages freedom of expression through her music and persona.

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22. Sir Trill

Sir Trill has swiftly risen to become a household name in the Amapiano genre. Debuting just a few years ago, Sir Trill has already become known for his versatility, effortlessly moving between deep, soulful melodies and more upbeat tracks. With songs like “John Wick” and albums that have topped streaming charts, his influence and contribution to the Amapiano sound are undeniable.

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Khanyisa amapiano artists

23. Khanyisa

Emerging as a fresh and soulful voice in the South African music industry, Khanyisa is a multi-talented artist whose music is a soothing blend of Afro-pop and house. With her debut making waves in recent years, she has quickly made a name for herself with her heartfelt lyrics and captivating melodies. Songs like “Ndikhowe Kushushu” showcase her ability to convey deep emotions, resonating with many.

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Tyler ICU amapiano producer

24. Tyler ICU

A maestro of the Amapiano genre, Tyler ICU has rapidly become one of the most exciting producers and DJs in South Africa. Since his entrance into the music scene, Tyler has been part of the powerhouse behind hits like “Banyana” and “Bella Ciao,” a testament to his innovative production style that blends deep house, jazz, and lounge music with local sounds.

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25. Sha Sha

Sha Sha has been an unstoppable force in the African music scene since her debut. She burst onto the scene in 2019 with her extended play titled “Blossom.” Sha Sha’s silky vocals on hits like “Tender Love” and “Woza” have earned her critical acclaim, including a BET Award for Best International Act in 2020.

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Honorable Mention Amapiano Artists:

Reece Madlisa Instagram: @Reece Madlisa and YouTube: Reece Madlisa

Babes Wodumo Instagram: @Babes Wodumo and YouTube: Babes Wodumo

TOSS Instagram: @TOSS and YouTube: TOSS

Vigro Deep Instagram: @Vigro Deep and YouTube: Vigro Deep

King Monada Instagram: @King Monada and YouTube: King Monada

Myztro Instagram: @Myztro and YouTube: Myztro

Soa Mattrix Instagram: @Soa Mattrix and YouTube: Soa Mattrix

DJ Melzi Instagram: @DJ Melzi and YouTube: DJ Melzi

Nobantu Vilakazi Instagram: @Nobantu Vilakazi and YouTube: Nobantu Vilakazi

Semi Tee Instagram: @Semi Tee and YouTube: Semi Tee

Ch’cco Instagram: @Ch’cco and YouTube: Ch’cco

ShaunMusiq & Ftears  Instagram: @Shaunmusiq and YouTube: ShaunMusiq & Ftears

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*Unofficial Order. The more popular artists that have a combination of the most followers, streams, views, and most recent releases are near the top.

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