Amapiano, the infectious South African house music genre, has come a long way.

While debates swirl about its origins, consensus the consensus is clear: Amapiano is South African house music. Not everyone, however, discovered this mesmerizing and compelling sound at the same time.

For some, their first introduction to the genre was the viral “Whistle Girl” video, wherein Reneiloe Seemane vibes to “Jebson” by Kabza De Small and Thebelebe. For readers, the Amapiano wave washed over in the latter half of 2020, when we highlighted its swelling influence on TikTok.

That was before Uncle Waffles ignited a new emergence with his “People are burning” post, which not only transformed his career, but also amplified the genre’s global reach. Today, Amapiano resonates worldwide, with TitoM & Yuppe’s “Tshwala Bam” echoing through clubs and social media.

It would be difficult—and unconvincing—to attribute the success of Amapiano to a single moment. Instead, the world is witnessing a remarkable domino effect of moments, platforms and artists that have collectively championed the Amapiano sound.

Since 2020, there’s been an immeasurable amount of totemic moments for the genre. The 2021 BET HipHop Awards featured an Amapiano cypher, Beatport officially recognized Amapiano as a genre the following year and Uncle Waffles in 2023 became the first Amapiano DJ to perform on Coachella’s legendary mainstage. These milestones, alongside niche festivals, labels and agencies catering to the genre, have further fueled the genre’s rise.

The Amapiano sound, a cocktail of sultry synths, euphoric keys and infectious percussion, has infiltrated clubs worldwide and every corner of the internet, thanks to the DJs behind the decks. Their performances, social media posts, dance moves, mixes and tracks have helped the genre skyrocket in popularity around the world.

As Amapiano continues to extend far beyond the confines of South Africa, here are 10 DJs you need on your radar.


What’s better than one Amapiano DJ? Two. Most people swear Tarryn Reid and Clairise Hefke are twins. The truth is, they’re not. But like peanut butter and jelly, they harmonize effortlessly, enhancing each other’s essence.

Their onstage chemistry together has inspired countless female DJs to adopt the “TxC formula” by joining forces as a duo. While many have sprung up in their wake, TxC have stood out internationally as trailblazers. When they aren’t touring the US and Europe or lighting up clubs in Dubai, they craft Amapiano bangers in the studio.

TxC is of those Amapiano acts everyone simply needs to see live at least once in their life. What sets their live performances apart from the rest is the entertaining and energetic way they commandeer all stages, both big and small.


TENOCEANS is the rising star redefining South African house music. Her experimental sounds and eclectic mixes cut across Amapiano, Gqom, Afro-house and Afro-tech and dance music.

Effortlessly blending various genres, TENOCEANS turns heads with unexpected sonic twists. Her innovative style and fearless approach to DJing has caught the attention of music executives and fans within the Amapiano community.


In the vast pool of talented Amapiano DJs, Yumbs stands out as one of the most versatile. Striking a fine balance between DJing and producing, he is a collaborator extraordinaire.

When Yumbs isn’t putting his special touch on remixes (like Ciara and Chris Brown’s “How We Roll”), he’s busy getting crowds moving to Amapiano beats in clubs both at home and abroad.

Musa Keys

A favorite among partygoers and house music fans, Musa Keys brings a unique flair to Amapiano. From DJing and production to songwriting and singing, he’s a true jack of all trades. His charismatic sets and catchy tunes have earned him widespread acclaim, including a Grammy nomination in 2023 for the Amapiano-infused track “Available” with Davido.

Kelvin Momo

Kelvin Momo’s approach to Amapiano is deeply soulful. His tracks often feature lush, atmospheric soundscapes that transport listeners to another realm. He’s the kind of DJ you want at an Amapiano brunch party, but he makes no mistake—he can also have the club jumping in seconds.

Shakes & Les

One word that comes to mind when most South Africans hear the name Shakes & Les is “funk.” They are best known for their debut EP, Funk Series, a colorful collection of various Amapiano flavors. Although relatively new in the Amapiano scene, Shakes & Les are quickly taking over the streets and clubs of South Africa.


Justin99 began his journey as a DJ in 2019 and has recently been achieving the success he deserves. This young, energetic DJ puts the fun in Amapiano. He and Uncle Waffles are the reason the world couldn’t get the song “Yahyuppiyah” out of their heads in 2023.


KMAT serves Amapiano with a side of Afro-tech. It’s been four years since she took a leap of faith to start her career as a DJ, but today, she’s a staple in many local clubs and has been releasing records of her own. Watching KMAT’s set closely, you’ll see a DJ who genuinely loves and enjoys the craft.

DJ Tshegu

On stage, DJ Tshegu is a genre-defying sensation, captivating audiences with his dynamic performances. Online, she’s a viral Amapiano hitmaker, intuitively attuned to what her listeners crave. Her sets are ever-evolving, predominantly featuring Amapiano and house music with a touch of old-school vibes. This versatile style allows her to unite audiences of all ages, fostering a shared appreciation for Amapiano.

Pearl Thusi

Some people have the ability to be one thing and be good at only one thing. Not immensely talented multipotentialites like Idris Elba, Shaq and Pearl Thusi. Although Thusi is widely known as an actor and media personality, her appearance into Amapiano has been nothing short of spectacular.

After spending years honing her craft and practicing until she couldn’t stand anymore, Thusi made her debut at Soweto’s Makhelwane Festival. Since then, she has been performing in venues across South Africa, delivering sets characterized by high-energy South African house music and incredibly smooth transitions.

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