Major League Djz, the South African DJ/producer duo consisting of identical twin brothers Bandile and Banele Mbere, and Major Lazer have teamed to release the collaborative album Piano Republik, out today from Mad Decent/Because. Listen HERE.
The first new album release from Major Lazer — the U.S. based trio of Diplo, Walshy Fire and Ape Drums — in three years, Piano Republik is a thrilling and unprecedented international showcase for amapiano, the dance music genre that has exploded out of South Africa’s townships and onto the world stage recently.
“Africa is the centre of musical energy for the whole world right now, and amapiano is easily one of the most exciting things happening,” says Walshy Fire, frontman of Major Lazer. “It’s blown up all over the continent, but it all started in South Africa, and Major League Djz are in the middle of everything. As soon as we got to experience their movement in real life, we knew we just had to collaborate.”
The album includes the previously released singles “Koo Koo Fun” (featuring Tiwa Savage and DJ Maphorisa); “Designer” featuring Joeboy; and “Mamgobhozi” featuring the late South African music icon and activist Brenda Fassie, as well as a pair of guest appearances from R&B superstar Ty Dolla $ign (“Smoking & Drinking,” “Oh Yeah”). South African acts featured on the project include Msaki, Gaba Cannal, Russell Zuma, Yumbs, Boniface, DJ Rico and fast-rising singer Tyla, who appears on the album’s stunning focus track “Ke Shy.”
A fusion of soulful house music, African rhythms and jazzy piano melodies, amapiano is the latest outgrowth of South Africa’s deeply rooted dance music culture. Major League Djz are both pioneers of amapiano and its de facto global ambassadors, having brought global audiences into South Africa’s club scene over the last three years through their livestreamed Balcony Mix events, which regularly generate millions of views on YouTube.
“The spirit of amapiano is African dance music that brings the world together,” Bandile Mbere told Mixmag in an August 2022 cover story on Major League Djz. “It breeds African soul,” Banele Mbere added. “It’s brought Africa closer together, or brought South Africa closer to the rest of Africa.”
Since the release of their acclaimed 2021 album Outside, Major League Djz have gone on to break the world record for the longest DJ set performed by a duo, performing for 75 hours for a special edition of the Balcony Mix Experience. Counting Tems, Burna Boy, Honey Dijon, Jorja Smith, Rema, Asake, Stefflon Don and Mr Eazi among their steadily growing list of supporters, the twins made their Coachella debut alongside Black Coffee in 2022, and recently sold out London’s O2 Academy Brixton.
Those in Miami for Miami Music Week can catch Major League Djz with Major Lazer Sound System in a b2b DJ set at Get Lost Miami, happening March 25th at Factory Town in Hialeah. This summer in London, Major League Djz will be the first South African act to hold a residency at new venue HERE at Outernet, playing and curating exciting lineups every Saturday in June.
MAJOR LEAGUE DJZ & MAJOR LAZER—PIANO REPUBLIK
1. Smoking & Drinking feat. Ty Dolla $ign
2. Ke Shy feat. Tyla & LuuDaDeejay
3. Ngibambe feat. Gaba Cannal & Russell Zuma
4. Designer feat. Joeboy
5. Koo Koo Fun feat. Tiwa Savage & DJ Maphorisa
6. Mamgobhozi feat. Brenda Fassie
7. Oh Yeah feat. Ty Dolla $ign
8. Stop & Go feat. Msaki
9. Higher Ground ft. Boniface
ABOUT MAJOR LEAGUE DJZ:
South African music powerhouse Major League Djz are crafting the sound of the future with an exciting blend of immersive African sonics and futuristic production. The twin power duo born Bandile And Banele Mbere have sustained a high level of commercial success and received critical acclaim across a career that’s panned a decade and seen them play a critical role in rewiring the modern musical DNA of the rainbow nation while experimenting with elements from hip-hop, kwaito, afrobeats, and amapiano. Thanks to their throbbing brand of party-starting music, the brothers have achieved cultural icon status in their home nation and across the continent, collaborating with respected acts like Cassper Nyovest, Stonebwoy, Blaqnick, and Patoranking.
PRESS FOR MAJOR LEAGUE DJZ:
Major League DJz are pretty much synonymous with the South African house genre at this point, notorious vibes providers and seamless blenders for a diasporic generation hungry for electronic, yet ancestral, transcendence – Mixmag
Major League DJz are bringing amapiano to a global stage – Hypebeast
The ambassadors of African dance music, the torchbearers of the African genre that
has swept the summer… the hottest thing on the map – Pause
UPCOMING TOUR DATES FOR MAJOR LEAGUE DJZ:
March 25 – Miami- Get Lost Miami
April 1 – Lisbon, Portugal – Sonar Lisboa 2023
April 23 – London – Printworks London
May 26 – Bakersfield, Calif. – Lightning in a Bottle 2023 May 28 – Miami – Afro Nation Miami
June 3, 7, 10, 24 – London – Here at Outernet
June 29 – Lisbon Portugal – Afro Nation Portugal
June 30 – Turin, Italy – Kappa FuturFestival
July 15 – San Francisco – The Great Northern
July 29- Boom, Belgium – Tomorrowland 2023
ABOUT MAJOR LAZER
Major Lazer is the global dance trio of Diplo, Walshy Fire and Ape Drums. Since 2009, the group has consistently affirmed its desire to celebrate cultures, to uplift artists and genres from around the world, and to create a new kind of electronic music, subverting all notions of genre and territory. Named for the group’s fictional figurehead, a one-armed Jamaican Zombie War commando, Major Lazer’s mission is to free the universe with music. The band has released four acclaimed albums, 2009’s Guns Don’t Kill People…Lazers Do, 2013’s Free The Universe, 2015’s Peace Is The Mission (featuring the Diamond-certified “Lean On” with DJ Snake and MØ, one of the most successful songs of all time) and 2020’s Music Is The Weapon, which features songs in five languages and collaborations with Nicki Minaj, J Balvin, Marcus Mumford, Khalid, Alessia Cara, Anitta, Paloma Mami, Busy Signal, BEAM, Shenseea, Nucleya and more.
UPCOMING LIVE DATES FOR MAJOR LAZER:
March 25—Miami, FL—Get Lost Miami*
March 25—Las Vegas—XS
June 30—Turin, IT—Kappa FuturFestival*
August 12— Saalburg-Ebersdorf, DE—SonneMondeSterne Festival * b2b with Major League Djz
Millennials across Africa and in the diaspora have the same picture of what the world should look like. We are documenting it in the coolest ways 🤘