Piano People Indoor Winter Festival [REVIEW]
23 Dec 2023
Words by Jadene Rogerson
Piano People has come a long way since its debut in 2021, from hosting events around the UK to sharing joy all around the globe, earlier this month on November 19th history was made as the Piano People Winter Festival hosted the world’s largest Amapiano show. Transporting the sweet sounds of the South African diaspora to our doorstep, the event was a musical gateway to almost 15,000 people for the newly established North London venue Drumsheds where a celebration of the well-loved genre of Amapiano was held, and rightfully so as it has taken the world by storm over the last few years.
From day to night, with 10 hours of groove, the event was filled with burgeoning talent from across the genre of Amapiano and world-renowned selectors such as Major League DJs, Vigro Deep, DJ Maphorisa, Skyla Tylaa, and Musa Keys graced the stages alongwith with an abundance of homegrown talent including Dankie Sounds, Nicky Summers, Charisse C, BOJ and so many more who filed the 3 rooms with unlimited vibes.
The excitement of exploring a brand new venue, mixed with enthusiastic music lovers was an unmatched feeling, hearing people chant ‘Can you feel it, hell yeah’ and ‘DJ we wanna party’ are phrases that will never get old in a place like this, Drumsheds was overwhelming at times because of the size but when the music was as good as it was, nothing else really mattered.
Piano People catered for Amapiano lovers new and old, seeping into deep Afro-tech cuts, pioneering records by Kabza De Small, and bringing people all the way to the present day with one of this year’s biggest tracks and that is, of course, Mnike by Tyler ICU and Tumelo_za (featuring DJ Maphorisa, Nandipha808, Ceeka RSA and Tyron), a track that has honestly had everyone in a chokehold, which isn’t a surprise as it’s a truly an addictive record that has surpassed 29M views on YouTube and peaked at number one on the South African Billboard charts, since it’s release in April this year. Tyla – Water was also well received at Piano People as it’s another record that is loved by many and has also helped the genre reach global success it was recently confirmed that Water was being put forward for Grammy consideration with Tyla being the first black South African soloist in 55 years to enter the US Billboard Hot 100.
The name Amapiano means ‘The Pianos’ in the Zulu language, the deep, soulful, and loose sounds of the genre were evident at Drumsheds, with huge artists and DJs supporting Piano People, along with dedicated and eager fans following the movement, we are already excited for the next event!