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Like Afrobeat on the “Wakanda Forever” soundtrack? Here’s more African music for you to try.

Like Afrobeat on the “Wakanda Forever” soundtrack? Here’s more African music for you to try.

MOnce again, arvel’s Black Panther is cruising in multiplexes with “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” which opens on Friday, and there will be plenty of internet ink spilling over what life should be like in the fictional kingdom of Wakanda, a peaceful black community advancing With technology this too is fully aware of its roots and traditions.

It includes a portion of that music where director Ryan Coogler and composer Ludwig Goransson put a lot of effort into what was Wakanda. sounds As does the soundtrack including contributions from Tobe and Fat Nwigwe from Houston as well as some of the hottest names in Nigerian Afrobeat (CKay, Fireboy DML, Tems and Burna Boy among them).

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With any luck, the spotlight on Nigerian rhythms may shift to another form of African music on the soundtrack for “Wakanda”: Afro-pop, Afro-house and Ambiano, as represented by DBN Gogo and Young Stunna’s infectious “Jelly”. It’s a style that is most popular in South Africa at the moment and has caught the attention of some Nigerian stars including Burna Boy who described Amapiano as ‘worth the hype’ and declared ‘it will change your life’.

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To listen to a Spotify playlist of these artists and more, go to Spotify and search for “Best of South African Amabiano, Afro-Pop, and Soulful House Music”.


So, if the big cat and friends are out for a night of partying in Wakanda, it’s easy to imagine them turning to Afrobeat but also South African Afro-pop and amapiano, an eclectic dance music brand that combines the easy grooves of contemporary Afrobeat with a wide range of influences. and sounds from across the diaspora as well as a sense of history, from deep house and lounge to jazz, R&B, pop, South African choral traditions and African guitars.

You may have already heard of a version of amapiano and didn’t even know it. Two years ago, at the height of the pandemic, Master KG’s song “Jerusalema” became a sensation among isolated people, thanks in large part to the dance challenge video that spawned countless global imitators.

But Amapiano is more than just a TikTok dance fad, though he is All over TikTok. Producers/ DJs like Sun-El Musician, Prince Kaybee, Mthunzi, DJ Hlo and Mas Musiq as well as singers like Azana, Msaki and Simmy build the style, incorporating it into an Afro-pop/Afro-House mix of pocket grooves, non-electronic embellishments (piano, guitar, trumpets), sombre, soaring melodies paired with a lyrical sense of staying power, strength and positivity—unlike some other forms of dance music where singing is an afterthought, if that—the beauty of a soulful voice.

It is no coincidence that the style is called amapiano, a Zulu word meaning “piano”, as songs are often built with the sounds of traditional instruments. Take, for example, the Sun-El Musician’s upbeat, six-minute symphonic song “Ngiwelele,” the first two minutes of which is a powerful, amplified stringed sound. It then turns into a musical nod to Nat King Cole’s 1948 song “Nature Boy” before blasting into a quiet beat and lyrics that speak of recognizing one’s ancestors. Wakanda doesn’t get much more than that.

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Or take DJ Hlo’s Isibani, built on a cloud of choral singing and sparkling guitar, that feels as fresh as an ocean wave in summer and as pure as a church prayer. Or Prince Kaybee’s “Breakfast in Soweto,” a track whose rhythm is enhanced by piano and guitar sounds.

So, chances are that even those of you who are very much into contemporary dance music will find something to like about the current wave coming from South Africa. Here are 11 acts from the worlds of South African Amapiano, Afro-pop, and House music for you to discover when you want to enjoy your time in Wakanda. And we have Spotify playlist, “Best of South African Amabiano, Afro-Pop, House Music” with more selections.

Musical sun

“Africa to the World” album cover from Sun L Musician

world music

His real name is Sinele Sithole but considering how bright and warm his music is, “Sun” seems more appropriate. This is African music for someone who has a sense of the past but an eye for tomorrow. He released two primary albums, “Africa to the World” (2018) and “To the World and Beyond” (2020), and the powerful album “African Electronic Dance Music” (2021).

Prince Kaibi

  Prince Kybe at Huawei Business Day 2021 at the Kyalami Grand Prix and International Convention Center on October 22, 2021 in Midrand, South Africa.

Prince Kybe at Huawei Business Day 2021 at the Kyalami Grand Prix and International Convention Center on October 22, 2021 in Midrand, South Africa.

Photo by Oupa Bopape/Gallo Image/Gallo Images via Getty Images

This performer has recorded some airtime in the US with her once-in-a-lifetime home anthem “Bring Your Life,” which featured a lead voice from Masaki in her most seductive hit. But he is more than one song like his most recent albums, “Gemini” (2022), his previous albums “The Fourth Republic” (2021) and “Rey Meno” (2019). He can deviate from the sax-infused jazz-pop of “Jazz by the House” to the influence of Black Pumas-by-way-of-the-Dance in the “Sibemunye” arena without breaking a sweat.

Cobza de Small

  Capza de Smol (C) during a presentation at the Gauteng Sports Awards ceremony at the Gallagher Convention Center on November 13, 2021 in Midrand, South Africa.

Capza de Smol (C) during a presentation at the Gauteng Sports Awards ceremony at the Gallagher Convention Center on November 13, 2021 in Midrand, South Africa.

Photo by Oupa Bopape/Gallo Image/Gallo Images via Getty Images

Senior Producer/DJ on the Ambiano scene, Cabza de Small — named #18 on the Forbes Africa 30 Under 30 list — rocks and jazzy swings with songs like “Sponuno” (featuring Nigerians Burna Boy and Wiz Kid) and “Tress”.

black coffee

DJ Black Coffee (Nkosinathi Innocent Maphumulo) performs at Altitude Beach Club in Fourways, Johannesburg, on March 21, 2021. His album features

DJ Black Coffee (Nkosinathi Innocent Maphumulo) performs at the Altitude Beach Club in Fourways, Johannesburg, on March 21, 2021. His Grammy Award-winning album “Unconscious” features an eclectic mix of local and international artists including Pharrell Williams and DJ David French Guetta, South African singer and composer Msaki and Australian musician RY X among others. –

Luca Sola/AFP via Getty Images/AFP via Getty Images

This producer / DJ produces jazzy and calm house music that has turned it into an international name. Having won a Grammy for Best Dance Album this year (“Unconscious”), a recording that featured guests Pharrell Williams and David Guetta, it’s certainly the most popular South African music export at the moment.

good night

Masaki at the celebration of the album release for 'Zenzile: The Reimagination of Miriam Makeba' at the South African State Theater on March 27, 2022 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Masaki at the celebration of the album release for ‘Zenzile: The Reimagination of Miriam Makeba’ at the South African State Theater on March 27, 2022 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Photo by Oupa Bopape/Gallo Image/Gallo Images via Getty Images

It seems that there is a group of female singers who have appeared in many songs in South Africa (including Simi, Nobuhli, Azana and Ami Fako) who bring a sense of the seductive spirit of music. One of the best among them is Masaki who has not only worked with veterans Sun El Musician, Prince Kaibe, Tresor, Black Motion and Capza de Small, but even with Cape Town Beatenberg indie rock band. She released a great solo album, “Platinumb Heart Beating”, last year.

mths

Album cover for Mthunzy album

Album cover for Mthunzi’s album “Selimathunzi”

world music

This young singer released his debut album, “Lush Selimathunzi”, in 2020, and instantly became a favorite in Afro-pop circles in South Africa. Tracks like “Vuka” and “Insimbi” are absolutely irresistible.

DJ Zainhal

DJ Zinhle spins during the BET International Nominee Awards Welcome Ceremony for the BET 2022 Awards on June 24, 2022 in Los Angeles.

DJ Zinhle spins during the BET International Nominee Awards Welcome Ceremony for the BET 2022 Awards on June 24, 2022 in Los Angeles.

Photo by Bennett Raglin / Getty Im / Getty Images for BET

One of the great things about Amabiano and the SA scene in general is the number of female DJs, including DJ Zinhle whose uptempo grooves that echo South African musical history can make the dead dance the dead.

DBN JoJo

DBN JoJo

DBN JoJo

Photo by Oupa Bopape/Gallo Image/Gallo Images via Getty Images

Here are other DJs whose barebones amappiano has made one of the most popular in the genre. Now that you’re on the soundtrack to “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”, you’ll be known far beyond the borders of South Africa.

black movement

Black Motion performs during the 2015 MTV Africa Music Awards on July 18, 2015 at the Durban International Convention Center in Durban, South Africa.

Black Motion performs during the 2015 MTV Africa Music Awards on July 18, 2015 at the Durban International Convention Center in Durban, South Africa.

Photo by Anish Debeki/Gallo Image/Getty Images

This Johannesburg-based house music duo features a wide color palette ranging from Latin house (“vin ba ka”) to tribal afrobeat (“Beat of Africa”) and jazz (“everything”), making these folks some of the most eclectic and groups convincing in the scene.

Tresor

Musician Tresor during the announcement of the nominees for the 23rd Annual South African Music Awards (SAMA23) at Destiny Exclusive Hotels on April 20, 2017 in Kempton Park, South Africa.

Musician Tresor during the announcement of the nominees for the 23rd Annual South African Music Awards (SAMA23) at Destiny Exclusive Hotels on April 20, 2017 in Kempton Park, South Africa.

Photo by Phryni Shivambo/Gallo/Getty Images

This South African born/residing Congolese singer-songwriter creates a particularly profitable brand of Afro-pop deeply rooted in African rhythms but also with a strong sense of pop songs.

Ami Vaku

Amy Fako during the celebration of Kaia's 959th 25th birthday at Imperial Wanderers Stadium on September 3, 2022 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Amy Fako during the celebration of Kaia’s 959th 25th birthday at Imperial Wanderers Stadium on September 3, 2022 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Photo by Oupa Bopape/Gallo Image/Gallo Images via Getty Images

She is not only the singer on many tracks in South Africa but also appears in songs from the Kenyan production group known as EA Wave. Check out her 2019 album “Imali” and her latest singles “Abelele” and “Fatela” for her expressive and captivating performance of Afro-electro.

cary.darling@houstonchronicle.com


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