May 2024 1st edition

Amapiano meets Classical music

Written by More Matshediso

Music is one way to share an African story, especially in a country rich in heritage and culture like South Africa. 
As the country celebrates 30 years of freedom and democracy, young South Africans are causing a stir in the music scene with a ground-breaking blend of modern-style music and classical orchestration. 

On 8 June, the highly anticipated debut of the Red Bull Symphonic featuring Kabza De Small (real name Kabelo Motha) with Ofentse Pitse conducting the Symphonic Orchestra, will take place at the Lyric Theatre at Gold Reef City in Johannesburg. 

This unprecedented performance will bring together two musical worlds as the award-winning King of Amapiano, Kabza De Small, performs his iconic repertoire with a full-scale symphonic orchestra led by the female conductor, Ofentse Pitse. 
Red Bull said in a statement that this is more than a simple performance.

“It’s an African story that is rooted in our culture and heritage and evolves sonically into the sounds of Amapiano which are celebrated globally. Amapiano is firmly ingrained in South African township culture, and will be reimaged with the majesty of the symphony,”  said Red Bull.   

Kabza De Small’s songs including Khusela, Imithandazo, and others will be creatively interpreted through the performance. 
“This is going to be an incredible night, as Amapiano's addictive rhythms and iconic log drum melodies are masterfully arranged and played by a 33-piece orchestra and an 8-piece choir, resulting in a symphonic fusion.”   

 Commenting on having an orchestra interpret his songs Kabza said: “It’s really crazy, the thought of it all. But many of my songs focus on vocals, and a lot of Amapiano is very instrumental so I think people will be familiar with it. Amapiano is taking over the world, and through collaborations like this, who knows how much further we could push the genre?”

The collaboration's conductor, Ofentse Pitse, emphasised her joy about the South African instalment of Red Bull Symphonic's unique offering.
"The clash of two worlds between Amapiano and Classical music will create an electrifying atmosphere in which anything is possible. It’s about breaking away from conventional limits and enabling the music to grow into something genuinely exceptional," she said. 

This is set to be a truly spiritual experience where fans can expect a 2-hour journey to another world of music fusion. 
In addition to Kabza De Small's thrilling performance, Red Bull Symphonic Kabza De Small with Ofentse Pitse and the Symphonic Orchestra will feature a host of guest artists who will increase the diversity and intensity of what promises to be an extraordinary evening.  Notably, tickets to the show were sold-out within five hours of going on sale. 

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