Spotify elevating  Amapiano female voices globally

“Spotify data shows that about 43 percent of all Amapiano music is being listened to outside of South Africa, showcasing its massive international appeal,”

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Spotify, an online streaming platform, says streaming has helped in elevating the voices of female Amapiano artistes across the globe.

Phiona Okumu, Spotify’s Head of Music in Sub-Saharan Africa,  in a statement on Wednesday said that according to Spotify’s data, women were increasingly taking up space in Amapiano music through the power of streaming.

“At Spotify we have been championing Amapiano since we first started to see this exciting new genre take shape, and one of the things we are most excited about is how women are coming up in the genre.

“From singers and songwriters, to Disc Jockeys and producers, we are really seeing how this genre and its fans have embraced this female talent.

“Spotify, which has been a champion of the genre since its birth, has given the women of Amapiano a place to showcase their talents, break barriers and defy stereotypes.

“Some of the top streamed women Amapiano artistes over the past 90 days include Boohle, Babalwa M, Kamo Mphela, Sha Sha, Msaki and Lady Du,” she said.

Okumu noted that Spotify had also been championing Amapiano artistes through programmes like ‘EQUAL’, ‘Fresh Finds’ and ‘RADAR’.

She said DBN Gogo was Spotify’s first South African EQUAL Ambassador in 2021, while rising star, Tyla,  was the most recent.

“Amapiano music has over two billion streams on our platform, and our Amapiano Grooves playlist, which accounts for over a billion of these, features a strong mix of some of the most talented women in the genre right now,” she said

According to Okumu, collaborations between Amapiano artistes and women artistes whose music are not typically part of the genre, are  further driving music discovery.

She explained that artistes like Ami Faku, who calls her genre of music “Modern Afro Soul”, Msaki, who is most known for her folk sound, and even Nigeria’s Tiwa Savage, all featured  in the most streamed Amapiano tracks.

According to her, they all feature a female artiste because of collaborations that they have done with artistes like DJ Maphorisa and Kabza De Small.

“With the power of streaming, Amapiano women artistes are going global.

“Spotify data shows that about 43 percent of all Amapiano music is being listened to outside of South Africa, showcasing its massive international appeal,” she said.

She said collaborations were not just driving genre-bending, they were also driving exports of women artistes’ music.

“It is no surprise that female Amapiano artistes are speaking directly to Gen Z.

“Spotify data shows that the top female Amapiano artistes like Boohle, Babalwa M and Msaki are all most popular among 18-24-year-old audiences with the number of streams dropping off in older audience brackets.

“One artiste who appears to have bucked this trend is Makhadzi, whose streams in the 35-44 year age bracket are only about 2 per cent lower than in the 18-24 year old audience,” she said.