Rapper JR on How He Led Kamo Mphela into making Amapiano Music:
JR Rapper is one of the people who gave Kamo Mphela a platform to enter the music industry, in fact, the amapiano scene. He is the brains behind female vocalists jumping on amapiano beats, thus having an impact or a footprint in the yanos wave.
JR spoke on how he met Kamo Mphela, and actually had her jump on amapiano. JR met Jobe first before Kamo Mphela. I met Jobe first. So what happened is that a mate of mine sent me this other video and said ‘yo we need to go to this party’ and that was the same party that Kamo and her friends were promoting.
It’s the song that was playing in the background and the way they were dancing to the song, I was like yo yo yo we need to go to this party. So we started tweeting about Jobe’s party, saying ‘yo Jobe’s party is going to be lit’ and at that time we didn’t even know who Jobe was (he laughs). And that’s when I met Jobe, and told him that his song’s dope and we should do a record, and so he agreed,” JR explains.
JR also spoke on how he pioneered female vocalists in amapiano. “You know amapiano is very complicated, Jobe said the song is his but the beats belonged to someone else, and so we wnt to include Mpho69, by the way, he’s a very good producer, so we went to include him. So we went to the studio to record the song, and I said to Jobe, ‘bring that girl’ because we needed a girl and so the song could reach the radio as I’ve never had a song that never hit radio.
So we needed a girl since amapiano didn’t have girls at the time. So my formula at that time, I felt that… and this will show you where the amapiano scene is today. So back to 2018 when Sukandleleni dropped, I felt that there were so many males, and the sounds and the textures of the music are so heavy with that log drum, that if you have too many male vocals on it, it doesn’t stand out as much as when you add the sweetness of a female vocal. With a female vocal, you create a new texture, a new commercial appealing and radio-friendly.
JR said he’s also cool with rappers jumping into amapiano. “It’s great, I’m not those guys who say they don’t mess with piano. Me I mess with it, everything must have piano, until piano dies. If there’ another here that comes and takes over, I’ll still ride with it.”