SOUTH Africa’s DBN Gogo is flying the country’s flag high overseas with her vibrant energy and rhythmic amapiano sounds, so much so that Spotify wants in.
Gogo was announced as the latest addition, and first South African, to Spotify’s new EQUAL Music Program, aimed at highlighting women in music. Other inclusions include US rapper Saweetie and Nigeria’s top artist Tiwa Savage.
“DBN Gogo has managed to dominate two spheres within the music industry traditionally driven by the opposite sex – DJing and AmaPiano.
“For us, putting our support behind DBN Gogo not only speaks to what we do under the EQUAL umbrella but further drives the support we have continued to show the AmaPiano genre since it came to the fore,” says Phiona Okumu, Head of Music, Sub Saharan Africa.
The DJ celebrated her selection through her Instagram stories, sharing an image of herself featured on a billboard in the iconic Times Square in New York City, writing: “Unreal” with a green heart emoji.
“Being a part of Spotify’s EQUAL Music Program is a reminder that I do not need to apologize for being a powerful woman. I had a dream and realised that old ways don’t open new doors. So, I decided to make every moment count to ensure that I become everything I wanted,” she adds.
In a separate post on Twitter, the rising star later added: “I had a dream and realised that old ways don’t open new doors; so I decided to make every moment count to assure that I become everything I wanted for my life.
“Never apologize for being a powerful woman!”
I had a dream and realised that old ways don’t open new doors; so I decided to make every moment count to assure that I become everything I wanted for my life.— uMaka Mah 👵🏽 (@DBNGOGO) October 27, 2021
Never apologize for being a powerful woman! – @dbngogo for @spotify @spotifyafrica #SpotifyEQUAL #EQUALAfrica pic.twitter.com/QWuQtJr85r
The announcement of Gogo’s inclusion comes fresh off her return from the UK’s inaugural AMA fest, a South African inspired festival described as “the largest and only UK festival dedicated to lovers of Amapiano”, which featured UK amapiano artists and other prominent South African amapiano artists including rapper Focalistic, Kamo Mphela and award-winning hip-hop artist Cassper Nyovest.
In an interview with South African publication TimesLive, The ‘Khuza Gogo’ hitmaker admitted that she’s still adjusting to her newfound fame as one of amapiano’s leading ladies as she never expected to rise to stardom this quick in her career.
“It’s really crazy, it’s something I can’t really explain. Just looking back thinking about the hard work, the tears and the sweat and no sleep … I mean we still don’t sleep but it’s like the struggle was worth it, even though it’s not over yet.
“As much as it looks really great, there’s still so much more to be done, I don’t take it for granted every single day of my life. I work very hard, I’m good at what I do and people love that,” she said.
A number of her latest singles have dominated South African and international amapiano charts, notably her song ‘Khuza Gogo’ featuring Blaqnick and Masterblaq, as well as ‘Possible’ which she collaborated on with Dinho and popular South African vocalist Musa Keys.
“There is an influx [of amapiano DJs] and that’s the beauty of amapiano, it’s so inclusive, anyone can do it, there’s no gatekeepers in Amapiano,” she said.
“I really feel like it’s such a blanket statement to say that people are just pretty and don’t have the talent. People like to judge before they give you the platform and that’s not fair.
“At the end of the day, the talent will speak for itself and the consumers will always know … the more women we have the better … let’s take up space.”