Bongo Piano: The musical crossover that’s got everyone dancing
There’s a new rhythm shaking up the airwaves that is as electrifying as a lightning storm on the dancefloor! The infectious beats of Amapiano, the South African sensation that’s been moving hips worldwide, have swirled their way into the heart of Bongo music, creating a fusion that’s like nothing you’ve ever heard before.
In the world of music, unexpected collaborations often lead to innovative creations that captivate audiences with fresh sounds. Amapiano’s hypnotic log drums and Bongo’s soulful Swahili vibes dance side by side in this genre-blurring affair.
Bongo Flava is a fusion of various musical influences, including hip-hop, R&B, reggae, dancehall, and traditional Tanzanian rhythms. The term “bongo” is slang for Dar es Salaam, the largest city in Tanzania, where the genre has its roots. Amapiano meanwhile, is a genre born in the South African townships that was influenced by a subgenre of house music known as diBacardi. It features upbeat rhythms and choreographed dances. Spotify data shows that Amapiano’s streams increased by almost 286% in 2022, in both Tanzania and Kenya.
Bongo Flava artists blend international sounds with local rhythms and melodies, creating a unique and distinctive style. This fusion between Bongo and Amapiano is unofficially called, BongoPiano, reflecting the merging of two of the biggest genres from East and South Africa respectively.
Love at first groove
But how exactly did this fusion come about? It is hard to pinpoint when or where exactly it started but what is clear is that Bongo artists discovered that East Africans really enjoy Amapiano beats, language barrier notwithstanding. The artists have not stopped delivering hit after hit, either collaborating with South African artists, or making it fully homegrown.
Almost all Tanzanian artists have dabbled in this fusion, creating a new sound. Some of the top artists with BongoPiano songs include Diamond Platnumz, Harmonize, Marioo, Nandy, Jux, Mbosso and Zuchu.
Collaborations are a key part of the music industry, serving a myriad of purposes including introducing artists to new fanbases. With BongoPiano, it tracks that the biggest songs are collaborations with South African artists.