Davido’s Champion sound tops the chart as Spotify celebrates a decade of Amapiano

David Afolayan
Davido's Champion sound tops the chart as Spotify celebrates a decade of Amapiano

In 2023, the South African dance genre, Amapiano, hit over 1.4 billion streams on Spotify. The genre’s influence on the music culture in South Africa, and beyond has seen the world gripped in its frenzy from dance challenges to inspired collaborations and fusions.

Amapiano was invented in the townships on the outskirts of South Africa’s towns and cities. Amapiano borrows its keys and melodies from jazz and gospel, its drums and tempo from house music and diBacardi, while Kwaito loans Amapiano its basslines and harmonies.

Since then, the movement has evolved in different directions. Its dominance of mainstream music in South Africa and entry into the global dance music arena made it necessary for producers and vocalists to consider styles to fit different occasions. 

The COVID-19 pandemic proved to be a game-changing year for Amapiano’s growth on the platform. It more than doubled its 34 million Spotify streams in 2019 to 102 million by the end of the first year of lockdown. Fan-made playlists are a telling sign of the impact this had. In 2019 there were fewer than 800,000 playlists that featured Amapiano tracks.

In 2020, the genre hit its first 100 million streams, followed by an impressive 300 million in 2021, further solidifying its rising popularity. Similarly, Amapiano playlists grew to just under 1.2 million in 2020, then to over 2 million in 2021.

Davido's Champion sound tops the chart as Spotify celebrates a decade of Amapiano
Nigerian artistes, Asake and BurnaBoy dancing to Amapiano beats in a music video…

This international phenomenon is reflected in Nigeria, where Amapiano listenership increased by 181% between 2023 and 2024.

“One of the most affirming parts of watching Amapiano explode over the past decade is seeing how people use it for self-expression,’’ says Phiona Okumu, Spotify’s Head of Music in Sub-Saharan Africa.

This influence has led Spotify to launch A Decade of Amapiano, a site looking at the past decade of Amapiano and its different key influences, complemented by an on-platform with pivotal playlists and podcast for anyone wishing to learn more about the genre’s origins, sounds and future.

In addition, Spotify hosted influencers and media from South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Japan, Brazil, Egypt, France, the United States of America, and the United Kingdom for a week-long tour tracing Amapiano’s history and origins and exploring how the genre travelled beyond South Africa.

The tour debuted last year with influencers and media from the African continent and is expanding to include other countries outside Africa where the genre is popular.

Recall that in June 2023, Spotify launched Afrobeats: Journey of a Billion Streams, a website dedicated to celebrating the Afrobeats genre.

Similar: Spotify launches new Afrobeat platform to showcase the genre’s evolution

These are some of the key Amapiano data on Spotify over the last ten years:

  • 345k%+ growth in 2023 versus 2014
  • Over 855 million so far in 2024.
  • 153k%+ growth in export 2023 versus 2014
  • 87% growth of female artists in 2023 versus 2022
  • 40% of listeners are between 18-24 years
Davido's Champion sound tops the chart as Spotify celebrates a decade of Amapiano
Top Countries streaming Amapiano in the last 10 years

Today, the music genre is a force to be reckoned with on the global music stage thanks to its influence on popular culture. Below is a list of the countries with the highest streaming rate in the last 10 years:

  • South Africa
  • United States Of America
  • United Kingdom
  • Nigeria
  • Germany
Top Amapiano tracks streamed in Nigeria over the last 10 years
ArtistTrack
Davido, FocalisticChampion Sound
TitoM, Yuppe, S.N.E, EeQueTshwala Bam (feat. S.N.E, EeQue)
Tyler ICU, Tumelo_za, DJ Maphorisa, Nandipha808, Ceeka RSA, Tyron DeeMnike (feat. DJ Maphorisa, Nandipha808, Ceeka RSA, Tumelo_za & Tyron Dee)
TitoM, Yuppe, Burna Boy, S.N.E, Tshwala Bam (feat. S.N.E) – Remix
Uncle Waffles, Tony Duardo, Justin99, Pcee, Chley, EeQue, ChleyYahyuppiyah (feat. Pcee, EeQue & Chley)
Daliwonga, Mellow & Sleazy, M.J Abo Mvelo (feat. Mellow & Sleazy & M.J)
Kamo Mphela, Tyler ICU, Khalil Harrison, Baby S.O.NDalie (feat. Baby S.O.N)
Focalistic, Davido, Virgo DeepKe Star (feat. Virgo Deep) – Remix
Boohle, Deep LondonHamba Wena
Kabza De Small, DJ Maphorisa, Ami FakuAbalele
Table 1: Top tracks streamed in Nigeria over the last 10 years

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