Red Bull Symphonic Debuts in South Africa with the King of Amapiano Kabza De Small

This past weekend, the Lyric Theatre in Gold Reef City, Johannesburg, became the epicentre of an extraordinary musical fusion as Red Bull Symphonic Kabza De Small with Ofentse Pitse and the Symphonic Orchestra delivered a groundbreaking blend of modern Amapiano beats and classical orchestration. On June 8 and 9, audiences were treated to an unforgettable 130minute performance featuring the King of Amapiano, Kabza De Small, alongside the renowned conductor and the Symphonic Orchestra.

The performances highlighted Kabza De Small’s iconic repertoire, with tracks such as ‘khusela’ and ‘Imithandazo’ and others reimagined through the sweeping strings, brass and soaring key-notes of a 33-piece symphonic orchestra and an eight-piece choir. This unique collaboration showcased how Amapiano, with its addictive rhythms and iconic log drum melodies, can transcend its origins to reach new, symphonic heights.

“The magic that came with mixing a more spiritual sound and the smooth melodic jazz instruments was the biggest highlight of the show,” Kabza De Small commented after the show. “Normally Amapiano is taken as a genre that couldnt be broken down but here we are challenging the odds!” He added.

This performance was yet another milestone in the growth and international rise of Amapiano. When quizzed about ‘whats next for Amapiano?” Kabza De Small said: “We’re going to take the sound to places that havent been explored yet. And conquer those.”

Red Bull Symphonic, under the masterful direction of Ofentse Pitse, provided Kabza with the perfect platform to bring his cinematic sound to life in a new and electrifying way

“The highlight of my evening was seeing the combination of this dream of myself and Kabza coming to fruition,”  Pitse said afterwards.  “This is something that existed with us way before it was released into the world. So you can imagine the time and the hours that we put into every song, stitching it together, removing some parts, making sure that we tell an overall story of not only our experiences but also the experiences of the African child.”

As is tradition for Red Bull Symphonic events around the world (they’ve taken place USA to Australia, Germany and Jordan) Red Bull Symphonic Kabza De Small with Ofentse Pitse and the Symphonic Orchestra was supposed to be a one-night-only spectacular. Tickets however sold out within an hour and an additional night was added at the Lyric Theatre, which also subsequently sold out almost immediately.

“To have the audience feel it over the two nights and have felt it the way we lived it for the past few months, was really special,” Pitse said, before adding, “it’s gonna live with me forever.”

In addition to the main performance, the audiences were entertained by the likes of big-name side acts such as Daliwonga, Njelic and Mawhoo.

Reviews and comments across social media echoed Pitse’s sentiments: Red Bull Symphonic’s South African debut was more than a concert; it was a celebration of cultural convergence and musical innovation. By bringing together the raw energy of Amapiano with the elegance of a symphonic orchestra, the event highlighted the possibilities of musical expression, regardless of the genre.

For more information about the event and future Red Bull Symphonic performances, please visit: https://www.redbull.com/za-en/events/red-bull-symphonic-kabza-de-small/

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