JOOX reviews DJ Maphorisa’s songs and 2019 album

DJ Maphorisa needs no introduction as one of South Africa’s most talented DJs. Maphorisa’s songs are a favourite on music streaming playlists and the nightlife scene. We sat down with Felicity Mdhluli, JOOX’s well-informed Senior Content Manager to get her perspective on DJ Maphorisa’s songs and albums. Felicity also explained why she thinks he is a chameleon of the South African music industry and what the DJ may do next. 


What stands out for you when you think of DJ Maphorisa as a DJ?

“What stands out for me is that you can never know what his next move is going to be. DJ Maphorisa is the chameleon of all of the DJs. He is out there doing amapiano, afro-beats, afro-fusion, and gqom. DJ Maphorisa is working on many projects with different artists. You can’t necessarily tie him down to one particular sound.”


DJ Maphorisa has produced songs for top artists like Kwesta, Drake, Black Coffee, Wizkid and more. What do you think of his style as a music producer?

“What I appreciate about his musical style is that he doesn’t drop the ball. DJ Maphroisa fully embraces the music, if he is committed to doing and afro-fusion sound that’s exactly the type of song you are going to get. DJ Maphorisa researches music, and that’s what comes across in his songs. His research is what makes all the various elements that are key to a particular style, genre or sub-genre, and then he applies that regarding how he approaches his songs. 

“The DJ has a keen eye for that particular research and finding those distinctive musical elements for his songs. I appreciate that about his style as a producer because it informs what he is putting out there and it’s solid. You can’t necessarily say that he is not an amapiano music producer, or gqom artist et cetera. His ability to collaborate as a chameleon is what gives him that unique style.”


What do you see DJ Maphorisa doing in 5 years?

“He is another DJ that I see following a Black Coffee-like trajectory, however, maybe in a different way. Perhaps DJ Maphorisa’s music will evolve in a similar way to the likes of DJ Snake and Marshmello. Their music is influenced by every pocket of urban music genres, whether it’s a fusion of Jamaican, drum and bass and South African sounds. 

“DJ Maphorisa is breaking into the international music scene. He is going to become even better known internationally going forward as a result of his ability to being able to tap into various genres of music and his world-class international collaborations. He is collaborating with some of the biggest artists in the world, and I don’t think he’s going to stop. I see him doing more and more of that too. I wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up collaborating with Katy Perry and Taylor Swift in the future.”


What is your favourite DJ Maphorisa song?

“My favourite DJ Mapharisa song is off ‘Scorpion Kings’, which is his latest collaborative album. He collaborates with Kabza De Small. It is a joint project between DJ Maphorisa and Kabza De Small. The song is called ‘Vula Vala’ and features Nokwazi and Vigro Deep. A more mainstream audience is now enjoying the amapiano music genre. Amapiano music has been growing in popularity for several years. Amapiano has evolved. Many more vocals are now added to the songs.”


Which one of DJ Maphorisa’s songs do you think is South Africa’s favourite?

“I would say it is DJ Maphorisa’s ‘Midnight Starring’ song that features DJ Tira, Busiswa and Moonchild Sanelly. The song is off his ‘Gqom Wave’ album. DJ Maphorisa is also in the ‘Gqom Wave’ documentary on the JOOX music app.”


Who is an up-and-coming music producer in South Africa that stands out for you at the moment?

“Kubza De Small is creating amazing music. I’m keen to see what more he can give us. DJ Stokie is a staple in the amapiano scene. Those two DJs stand out for me.”


Why do you think fans love DJ Maphorisa’s music?

 “DJ Maphorisa’s songs are trendy. He jumps on the music trends. So, for example, if amapiano is the new wave, then he creates amapiano songs. If gqom is trending then that’s music he’ll make. When afrobeats and afrofusion are popular, then those music genres will influence his songs. If hip-hop collaborations are trending, then that’s what he is doing. DJ Maphorisa can catch onto the trends, and we love trends. He always makes sure that he is current and relevant.” 


What new DJ Maphorisa song collaboration would you like to see in the future if it could be any artist in the world?

“DJ Maphorisa should collaborate with Beyonce, Missy Elliot, and Lizzo should have a song all together. Think of the sounds that DJ Maphorisa created with Major Lazer and you’ve heard Beyonce do something similar to her ‘Who Run the World’ song. Imagine the dance element to Missy Elliot’s unique sound. Envision Lizzo with her current sound as well. She is somewhat a scholar of Missy Elliot. Imagine the song they could make together and with what DJ Maphorisa is doing right now. It would be fantastic.”

DJ Maphorisa sits in a recording studio before he chats about his 2019 songs and album.

Do you have any thoughts on DJ Maphorisa’s collaboration with Drake a while back?

“Drake and Maphorisa are similar in that they are both masters of their craft. They understand the music industry, and they know how to position themselves to please their fans. They make strategic moves regarding who to collaborate with and when to collaborate with artists. 

“Drake and DJ Maphorisa working together are two people with a similar vision from two different places coming together in one thought. That’s probably why the collaboration worked so well.”


What do you think about Major Lazer’s music video for their ‘Watch Out For This’ song that DJ Maphorisa worked on earlier this year?

“I’m a big fan of sounds that are coming out of Jamaica and the Carribean as a whole. I love dancehall, reggae, ska and jungle music genres. What I love about any music video that takes place in Jamaica is that they don’t try and glam it up for you. You feel as if they have transported you to their streets, and they show you how it is. They are genuine people. The pride of Jamaicans in their culture and where they are from always stands out. It doesn’t matter who is filming a music video in Jamaica either. For example, we would also see a representation of the Jamaican culture if Beyonce shot a music video in Jamaica. 

“The authenticity of the Major Lazer ‘Watch Out For This’ music video’s portrayal of the Carribean is what I particularly like about it. The dancing, the energy and the colour in the video make it appealing to me.”


Which DJ Maphorisa song did you last stream on the JOOX music player?

“DJ Maphorisa’s ‘Vula Valu’ song. In fact, the whole album. ‘Scorpion Kings’ is my favourite album currently out now.”

Look out for our next music review of another of South Africa’s favourite artists soon. It’s going to be just as entertaining. 


Stream or download DJ Maphorisa on the JOOX music player now

Find out why Felcitiy streams the Scorpion Kings album on the JOOX music app. Enjoy all 12 hit songs from his record now.

Listen now


The songs in DJ Maphorisa’s Scorpion Kings album are all hits:

  • Amantombazane
  • Lerato
  • uDriver
  • Dubai
  • Scorpion Kings
  • Koko
  • Meropa
  • Vula Vala
  • Ur Sheetee
  • Vumani Bo
  • We Mama
  • Jikeleza Bonus Track (Explicit)


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