Analysis | Amapiano artists need better management – and manners

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Sir Trill missed a radio interview at Kaya FM because he was too tired to make the 9am call time. Photo: Supplied
Sir Trill missed a radio interview at Kaya FM because he was too tired to make the 9am call time. Photo: Supplied


The new wave of amapiano artists has given us amazing sounds, but they have also exposed how poor local talent management is. Popular commentator and former music label owner Nota told City Press that we may still have had Killer Kau and Mpura if they were better managed – if someone was there to rein them in and help them manage the load that comes with success.

READNota – a voice of reason or unguided rebellion?

We have since lost them in a tragic car accident.

Today, amapiano crooner/rapper Sir Trill is trending because he allegedly told Kaya FM DJ, T Bose that his show was too early for him to make it to. The Best In The City show runs from 9am to 12pm on weekdays, and T Bose tweeted his disbelief at the response he received from Sir Trill.

The call time for the show was 9am, which is usually when professional people are up and at it. Now Sir Trill is backtracking and trying to plant the seeds of doubt, but why would a veteran of the airwaves, who has been grinding for over two decades, make this up?

What kind of behaviour is this? This is your job, my brother, and behaviour like this will only bring to fruition what rapper AKA said about the amapiano genre in an interview clip.

AKA may give uncomfortable interviews, as we saw with his latest appearance on Thando Thabethe’s 947 radio show, but at least he woke up for it.

Also, Mr Trill, you may want to shelve this Dubai song with Khanyi Mbau as it sounds corny beyond measure. How are you catching stunts of this nature when your last studio session yielded this impotent nonsense?

Personally, I see the whole amapiano thing dying out. At Trending, we also got a taste of the entitled and arrogant approach harboured by amapiano stars with our now infamous Uncle Vinny interview.

READUncle Vinny’s adolescent arrogance

We had yet another unfortunate experience with Busta 929, who has arguably dropped one of the hottest projects of the year. He’s just too cool to speak about it. We had scheduled an interview with him, which fell through. Much like Sir Trill, he said he needed his beauty sleep. His poor sore body had been put through the most when he gigged the weekend before. His publicists were made to look completely useless at their job and they could provide no valid reason beyond his immense fatigue.

But it’s okay Busta, because the genre has so much traction right now, why bother talking to anybody when the music can do all the talking for you? That is very rock’n’roll but don’t call us when Undisputed volumes three or four are not as popping.

Amapiano artists would do well to speak to their gqom counterparts. No disrespect, but gqom is not as hot as it once was, and that genre enjoyed a run that lasted around four or five years, with the streets saying a lot of what they are saying about the yanos. Where they at now?

The whole fraternity needs to catch a wake up – quite literally – and be more serious than they are because one of two things will happen. The genre will fizzle out in dramatic fashion when the very fickle South African listeners decide that some other new genre is what’s best for them. Let’s be real, gqom and amapiano are kwaito with slightly altered beat patterns. The most timeless sounding of the three is the last genre – we still bump TKZee like nothing has changed.

Respectfully, when last did you listen to Big Nuz?

The second thing that might happen is that the level of disrespect some of these new artists show will get them cut off from certain platforms. I couldn’t care less what Busta 929 is up to.

Amapiano may prove not to last, not because of the talents in that genre, but rather because they think they’re superstars. At the end of the day, all amapiano artists are still walking the tightrope that will decide whether this is just a moment in time, or a timeless genre that will remain for as long as local house and hip-hop.

Artists are failing the genre and their handlers are failing them. Last time I checked, not one amapiano artist has a Grammy at their house. We’d expect this behaviour from Ladysmith Black Mambazo, and we’d allow it, but guess what, those gentlemen are always early for media opportunities. So really, who are y’all? Better act right around here.


Phumlani S Langa 


+27 11 713 9001
69 Kingsway Rd, Auckland Park

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