Major League DJz take their unique sound to world stage

Major League DJz' goal is to land their names on Billboard Charts

21 April 2023 - 07:00
By Masego Seemela
Major League DJz are ready to take over the world.
Image: Supplied Major League DJz are ready to take over the world.

In the past three years, South African DJs and music-producing duo Major League DJz have been on a quest to take “piano to the world” and next on their list is the Asian continent.  

The dynamic duo, consisting of identical twin brothers Banele and Bandile Mbere, have been making people dance across the globe with their live-streamed balcony mixes that not only generated millions of views on YouTube but have caught the attention of international stars such as F1 racing icon Lewis Hamilton, British singer-songwriter Jorja Smith, British rapper Stefflon Don and Nigerian superstar Burna Boy.  

In their quest for “piano to the world domination”, the 32-year-old DJs recently released a collaboration album titled Piano Republik with American-based DJ trio Major Lazer – which comprises Diplo, Walshy Fire and Ape Drums.      

“The past three years have been challenging in terms of where we wanted to take our career. There was a lot of planning and brainstorming that took place and we had to look into how we could take over certain markets and spaces. All we wanted to do was to take our names to the global stage,” says Banele as he reflected back at the teething moments of their international footprint. 

“We've been using the last couple of years to do a lot of learning about the international music landscape and yes, many South Africans might not understand what we're doing, especially with our latest project with Major Lazer but we're just merely securing our seats outside SA.” 

With their focus set on taking their brand to the next level, Banele explains that the ultimate goal is to land their names on the Billboard Charts and dominate different stages of world festivals.

“One of the misconceptions about amapiano is that people abroad often relate to Afro Beats. When they hear any African sound they tend to confuse it with Afro Beats which is bigger than amapiano, hence we are on a mission to make them know and hear the difference,” says Bandile. 

“It's so dope to now see that some of the Afro Beat songs are infused with a little bit of amapiano tunes. I believe that music needs to evolve and change but we should never forget the distinctiveness of the two. 

“Genres can get lost if artists don't protect them . Yes, we can keep a genre to ourselves but ensuring that you're the frontliners of the sound will help its legacy live on as well as its origins.” 

While their new nine-track album came as a surprise to many of their fans, Banele described the collaboration as “a thrilling and unprecedented international showcase of the unique sounds of amapiano”.  

“It is infused with different sounds and melodies that highlight the dance music genre that is the pride and joy of a sound and rhythm from South African townships on the world stage,” says the renowned DJ.  

“We chose to work with American R&B superstar Ty Dolla $ign, Nigerian singer Tiwa Savage and our very own DJ Maphorisa. We also have more South African artists such as Msaki, Gaba Cannal, Russell Zuma, Yumbs, Boniface, DJ Rico and Tyla.

"Seeing that we want to dominate Asia, we also hope to work with Adele, Rihanna and Beyoncé... like imagine Adele on a piano joint!"

"Seeing that we want to dominate Asia, we also hope to work with Adele, Rihanna and Beyoncé... like imagine Adele on a piano joint!"

Speaking on their collaboration with the South African twins, Walshy Fire, the frontman of Major Lazer said: “Africa is the centre of musical energy for the whole world right now and amapiano is easily one of the most exciting things happening. 

“It’s blown up all over the continent, but it all started in SA, 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.” 

When asked what the secret is behind their solid partnership as brothers, DJing duo and business partners, the twin remarked: "Having the same goals and vision no matter how much money they make".  

"There's no reason to fight... there's always a way to solve things," Banele concluded.