People of Bounce Presents: #SpotifyAmapianoTour Day 1
Immerse yourself into the #SpotifyAmapianoTour through the eyes of the People of Bounce.
Clarence Mac Ebong
●20th March 2023
Our continent is blessed with many things. Its hospitality, food and beautiful scenery indicates that, despite the inconsistencies in the continent, we possess value that is not easily replicated. At the heart of it all are the African people who continue to drive innovation across all works of life. We wear our hearts on our sleeves and this emotion pulsates in our streets and in our art. This is especially true with our music, and as we dance to the beat of our drums, we create and transfer new energy to take on life’s challenges and successes.
The African music experience has and continues to penetrate spaces in the world that previously seemed so far. Sometimes, there is a tendency to be pulled into the world; doing things to keep the fans and love we receive while simultaneously losing our essence and soul. It is important to continue to shed light on our history and culture so we do not lose sight of why we do what we do in the first place. For this reason, in tandem with their afro-centric focus, Spotify put together the #SpotifyAmapianoTour to celebrate one of the continent’s foremost genres.
Johannesburg is the central location for the #SpotifyAmapianoTour, which is perfect as the city is known for its bubbling nightlife. Creatives from all around the continent have come together for this experience, making it a truly African event. I wasn’t able to join the delegation early due to unforeseen circumstances, but my first day is shaping up nicely, if I do say so myself. Movement today was a bit restricted due to the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) protests calling for President Cyril Ramaphosa to resign over lack of jobs and electricity. It’s a pressing issue in the country, but its music is one of the unifying elements even in uncertain times. From my hotel room Rosebank, to lunch at Proud Mary (their calamari and Martini combo is to die for) and all the wonderful people I’ve met so far, South Africa has been a vibe. The view I’m taking in as I write this is impeccable.
So far at the #SpotifyAmapianoTour, we’ve been joined by some special African artists who have made a great name for themselves in their careers. One of them is Nigeria’s Wurld, who I ran into at breakfast this morning. Yesterday, Focalistic came through and the session was fun and interactive. When asked about the spread of Amapiano throughout the continent and the world even without people understanding the language, he said, “That’s how you make an imprint. When you go to America, the biggest thing about South Africa is Nelson Mandela because he stood for his country. That’s what Amapiano is; it’s about representing where we come from. I think it’s a blessing that people from around the world relate but I think it’s because they can hear the emotion. I think emotion sells more than just words.”
It’s an accurate description of a genre that continues to fill African clubs with so much energy. Of all the Amapiano records I’ve enjoyed, and I’ve enjoyed a lot, I can count the number of English words I’ve heard on both hands. It’s a living genre; a shade of dance music that is unapologetically African and seeks to bring its listeners to life. It’s an infection that has passed to, for instance; Nigerian artists who continue to tap into the life the genre offers. After working with Davido on the all-conquering “Champion Sound”, Focalistic is open to more collaborations. “Amapiano, at its core, has stories,” he says. “I met Davido 4 years ago in Pretoria, he was on a South African tour. They kept playing Amapiano and he was like “yo, who’s this?”. He gave me one of his guys’ number and said we’d make a song together, and “Champion Sound” went number 1 in Nigeria. It just spiritually happened.” The fun fact is that “Champion Sound” was recorded on his birthday.
For the next few days, I’m going to take you through South Africa and the #SpotifyAmapianoTour with my words. There is so much lined up for the attending guests of this tour, so you can expect more juicy fun facts and mental pictures of amazing scenery. It’s 7:01pm right now, and we have a party to attend in about an hour. You’ll hear from me soon, but until then, continue to Surf your Wave with Bounce through the Journey of Amapiano brought to you by Spotify.