A lot of the newer styles of dance music rely on pummelling dancers into submission at events with blockbuster action-movie drops, relentlessly inane vocal hooks, and on-stage pyrotechnics displays. Yet amapiano – music that has emerged from the townships of Johannesburg and Pretoria to take the world by storm – chooses a different path.

Super-hypnotic and perfectly poised, amapiano emerged in the 2010s. Its trick is to take house music but slow its heartbeat from 120 bpm to 115 pm or even 110 bpm, then tear out the signature 4-4 thump of a dominant kick drum. What you’re left with is a style of club music that remains full of percussive flourishes but gives the listener more room to dream.

The finest, most idiosyncratic amapiano tracks create an eerie, pluvial atmosphere that demands the mind conjure its own imagery while the body moves involuntarily to a jacking, snare-led groove, complemented by tumbling log drum bass, indelible vocal hooks and of course the musicality of the pianos the sound was named after. Many of amapiano’s most anthemic touchstone tracks effortlessly manage to sustain this special, fragile ambience across seven minutes, as soft vocals lull in and out of earshot. It’s a little bit funky house, a little bit kwaito, a little bit deep house – it’s even at times a little bit jazz and lounge music in its dreamy, laid-back vibe – but ultimately there is nothing else out there that sounds quite like amapiano, which is why the scene, its DJs and the events they play are taking over the world.

It is mysterious, mesmeric music, full of sunset romance and simmering post-midnight mood. And its original home in London is Ministry of Sound. It was us who hosted the UK’s first ever official amapiano club night Piano People one memorable evening back in 2022.

Since then, we haven’t looked back, with the night regularly returning to SE1 6DP to an increasingly rapturous reception. Tickets for these events always go fast, so check out our listings pages to see when the next Piano People event is taking place in Elephant and Castle.

In our time putting on dance parties with Piano People, we’ve given career-shaping London debuts to many huge South African amapiano artists – including DBN Gogo, Vigro Deep, DJ Maphorisa, Uncle Waffles, JazziQ, Young Stunna, Tyler ICU and Kabza De Small. The atmosphere always feels as special and unique as the music itself: a night out at a Ministry of Sound amapiano event is a truly magical one-off experience not to be missed – and now, thanks to the amapiano sound inspiring huge breakout chart hits like Tyla’s ‘Water’, more people are desperately seeking that experience than ever before.

As is the case whenever a style of club music becomes popular, amapiano has spawned offshoots of its own, sounds that take their cues from amapiano but veer off into different territories. That’s why, at Ministry of Sound’s amapiano nights, you’re also liable to hear flashes of amapiano subgenres like s’gija, private school, quantum sound and cardi-ano – as well as other, even newer and more niche dance styles emerging with lyrics in Zulu, Xhosa, Sotho, Setswana and Xitsonga and hypnotic, syncopated drum patterns.

As a night club, Ministry of Sound is perhaps the best placed in all of London to deliver amapiano to its adoring fanbase of revellers and ravers. For starters, our world-famous sound systems are unparalleled at creating the surge and separation that the spacious sound of amapiano needs to feel most unique. Then there’s the layout of Ministry of Sound: our legendary main room The Box, with its sprung wooden dance floors and overwhelming lighting system, packs a level of sensory overload that – when paired with amapiano’s hypnotising rhythms – acts as a lunar fast lane to dance floor euphoria.

With our other star rooms The Loft and Baby Box functioning as miniature night clubs in their own right – perfect for creating different vibes across the club space – and our central bar, 103, acting as a hub for party chat and late-night liaisons, there’s a reason Ministry of Sound is chosen over and over again as the venue to introduce amapiano superstars to London.

Whether you’ve already clicked ‘buy tickets’ for the next huge event staged by amapiano club night promoters Piano People, or you’re keeping a close watch on our listings and mailing list to see what one-off amapiano parties we’ll be staging soon, we can’t wait to usher you inside for a night of jazzy slow-house amapiano perfection, straight outta SA.