If Nigerian artists haven’t hopped on a sound then there must be something somewhere. That’s because Nigerian artists are typically adventurous and they like to experiment with new genres, subgenres, and beats.
What is Afropiano?
Afropiano is essentially a blend of two genres which are Afrobeats and Amapiano. Afropiano is a brand new genre birthed as a result of the recent spread of Amapiano across the world. We all know how the effect that Amapiano has had on the global music industry but the fact that it has given rise to another genre goes a long way to show just how much the impact of the sound is.
How Afropiano began and where it is going
Even before the Emergence of Amapiano in the music scene, Nigerians have had a long-standing relationship with the South African style of music. Let’s recall Davido’s collaboration with Mafiki Zolo. The hit titled ‘Tchelete’ was released about 8 years ago and is one of the early blends of Nigerian and South African sounds. Let’s not forget that Niniola has been dishing out hit Nigerian songs with South African elements for a long time. Most of the songs she has been creating for years have fallen under the Afrohouse genre and she has even been repeatedly called the “Queen of Afro-house”.
Now, especially in 2022, the adoption of South African beats has gone way beyond mere one-off collaborations and has now progressed to full-blown utilization of Amapiano beats to create Nigerian songs. This mash up of sounds has risen steadily to what we now know to be Afropiano.
Most Popular Afropiano songs
‘Highway’ – DJ Kaywise ft. Phyno
This song dishes out the flavour of both the Igbo and South African culture as DJ Kaywise and Phyno used the Igbo language to sing coupled with South African Amapiano beats. The rapper and Dj did a good one on this number.
‘Squander’ – Falz ft. Niniola
Falz sort of made “Inakwana” more popular with his sit song titled ‘Squander’. The Hausa X Igbo song by Falz and Niniola did justice to the Amapiano beat thereby producing a very melodious Afropiano song that instantly became a hit. The music video as well didn’t disappoint as we were loaded with crystal clear visuals.
‘Loading’ – Olamide
Iconic singer and rapper Olamide has come through with another hit titled ‘Loading’. The song and the dance challenge that came along with the track was a viral sensation. With over 4 million views on YouTube, you can tell that this song is doing excellently well in the commercial sense.
‘I got A Friend’ – Davido
The one and only OBO gifted his fans with this fantastic Afropiano song. He didn’t do it alone, the song featured Mayorkun and Sho Madjozi. The track which was produced by Fresh VDM has undiluted Amapiano beats and is majorly repeating the lyrics “I got a friend”.
‘Look Like Me’ – Niniola
Yes, it’s “Nini De!” again. It’s not surprising to see Niniola appearing on this list more than once as the star typically gears towards Afropiano and Afrohouse sounds when creating music. ‘Look like me’ is honestly an infectious sound that will surely ensure that you dance all through the entire minutes that the song is playing. In the track, Niniola didn’t place much emphasis on the lyrics rather she relied more on the Amapiano betas to do the job of keeping her fan entertained.
‘Require’ – Olamide and DJ Tunez
When P. Prime works on your beat, just know it’s going to be something out of this world. Even Olamide has attested to this fact and it’s no surprise. Even though I personally would have appreciated it if Olamide sang about something other than scattering “with your waist and hips”, at the same time I cannot deny the fact that the beat is catchy and upbeat.
‘Southy love’ – Peruzzi and Fireboy DML
I wasn’t joking when I said that P.Prioime is truly an exceptional producer. He created magic with the song ‘Southy Love’. When a producer like P. Prime teams up with top artists like Peruzzi and Fireboy just know it is going to be explosive. With ‘Southy love’ the trio prove to us that they can serve us tasty Afropiano with ease because that is exactly what they achieved with the song. The song is basically about how they would do anything for love including catching a flight. The track has amassed over 5 million views on YouTube since its upload in January 2021.
Disc Jockeys in Africa are now starting to recognize the potential in the Afropiano genre. The increase in the release of nice Afropiano mixes shows how far the genre is going. Some notable Afropiano mixtapes are ‘Afropiano’ by DJ Flaton Fox X DJ Tarico, ‘Afropiano mixtape’ by DJ Youngwhile, and ‘Afropiano mixtape’ by DJ Naira, and ‘Afropiano mix’ by DJ Olard. Songs like ‘Squander’, ‘Oh Sharp’, ‘Paigons’, ‘La La’, and ‘I Got A Friend’ amongst others are just some of the best Afropiano songs that have become chart toppers in the African continent. It is noteworthy to add that these songs are not just celebrated in Nigeria. Just like a lot of other Nigerian hit songs, these Afropiano tracks on the list are sung by fans all over Africa. Afropiano songs are spreading fast and people are finally beginning to accept it as a proper genre of its own.
Afropiano has joined Amapiano to steadily take over the global music scene. In recent times, we have seen that almost every top Nigerian music artist wants to hop on the trend and create an Amapiano track. I have a feeling that this is only the beginning. As this new genre gets even more popular, with time we hope to hear better Afropiano songs by Nigerian artists. Africa has housed a variety of major dance sounds with Amapiano adding her footprint on the world map.