Kabza De Small

Kabza De Small
Birth nameKabelo Petrus Motha
BornMpumalanga, South Africa
  • Piano
  • Keyboards
  • Drums
  • Pads
Years active2009–present
  • Afrika House Records
  • Gentle Soul Records
  • New Money Gang Records
  • Piano Hub (PTY) Ltd
Associated acts

Kabelo Petrus Motha better known by his stage name Kabza De Small, is a South African DJ and record producer. He was born in Mpumalanga and raised in Pretoria. He has been referred to as the king of the Amapiano genre.[1] Motha has collaborated extensively with record producer DJ Maphorisa.

Forbes ranked Kabza 18th in the Forbes Under 30 list in 2021.[2]

Life and career

Kabelo Motha was born in Mpumalanga, South Africa, and was raised in Pretoria.[3] Motha began his career as a DJ in 2009, venturing in the genres: Afro-fused house and EDM.[4] In 2016, he made his production credits by releasing his debut album, Avenue Sounds under the label, House Afrika Records. In November 2018, he gained attention by releasing songs, "Amabele Shaya" and "Umshove", respectively, featuring guest vocals by the amapiano counterpart, Leehleza. Following both songs, he continued his collaboration with Leehleza as he released the song "Bamba La", on 3 January 2019.

Scorpion Kings, Motha's collaborative studio album with record producer DJ Maphorisa, was released on 5 July 2019, supported by the lead single, "Koko". The album was certified diamond in South Africa, with over 100, 000 units sold.[5] On 1 October 2019, they released their sophomore studio album, Piano Hub, which was supported by the single, "Nana Thula", featuring guest vocals by Njelic.[6] On 18 October 2019, Motha released his second studio album, Pretty Girls Love Amapiano.[7] In continuing his collaboration with DJ Maphorisa, they released their third studio album, The Return of Scorpion Kings, on 29 November 2019.[8]

On 4 April 2020, during the COVID-19 national lockdown period, he released an EP titled Pretty Girls Love Amapiano 2, it features Tyler ICU, DJ Maphorisa, Xolani, King Deetoy.[9]

On 26 June 2020, he released his next solo studio album, I Am The King Of Amapiano: Sweet & Dust, featured both South African & international acts such as Burna Boy, Wizkid, Cassper Nyovest, Dali Wonga, DJ Maphorisa, Samthing Soweto, Sha sha, Mlindo, Bontle Smith.[10]

In October 2020, he produced Oscar Mbo’s single titled Genesis from the album, For The Groovists.[11] Motha took-home Music Producer of the Year award at the 2020 African Muzik Magazine Awards.[12]

On 9 April 2021, Kabza released Rumble in the Jungle, a collaborative album with record producer DJ Maphorisa and singer TRESOR.[13]

At the 27th South African Music Awards he received three nominations includes; Album of the Year, Male Artist of the Year and Best AmaPiano Album, which made him the most nominated artist, for his album I Am The King Of AmaPiano: Sweet & Dust.[14][15]

On September 17, 2021, he released a single "Abalele" with DJ Maphorisa featuring Ami Faku.[16] The song reached number one on Entertainment Monitoring Africa.[citation needed]

In October 2021, he produced Congolese-born singer TRESOR’s singles, "Makosa" and "Nyota" from the album, Motion.[17]

Impact and achievements

Motha is often referred to as the "King of Amapiano".[1] He is considered one of the best-selling music artists of amapiano, and also one of the pioneers of the genre. With his breakthrough in 2018, he played an instrumental role in popularizing the amapiano genre.[18] On 3 December 2019, Spotify South Africa, named Motha as the most-streamed South African artist in the platform for 2019.[19][20]


Studio albums

List of studio albums
Title Album details
Avenue Sounds
Pretty Girls Love Amapiano Vol.1
Pretty Girls Love Amapiano Vol.2
I Am the King of Amapiano (Sweet And Dust)[21]

Collaborative albums

List of collaborative albums, with selected details and certifications
Title Album details Certifications
Amapiano Volume 4
(with various artists)
Dreaming Ep
(with Chambers & Spumante)
Scorpion Kings
(with DJ Maphorisa)
RiSA: Diamond[22]
Piano Hub
(with DJ Maphorisa)
The Return of Scorpion Kings
(with DJ Maphorisa)
Scorpion Kings Live At Sun Arena 11 April 2020
(with DJ Maphorisa)
Once Upon A Time In Lockdown
(with DJ Maphorisa)
Rumble In The Jungle
(with DJ Maphorisa & Tresor)[23]

Awards and nominations

Year Award Ceremony Prize Recipient/Nominated Work Result Ref.
2020 2020 DStv Mzansi Viewers' Choice Awards Favorite DJ Himself Won [24]
Favorite Rising Star Himself Won
2020 African Muzik Magazine Awards Music Producer of the Year Himself Won
Best Collaboration "Sponono" featuring (Wizkid and Burna Boy) Nominated
2021 SAMA 27 Album of the Year Himself Won [25][26]
Male Artist of the Year Won
Best AmaPiano Album Won
Duo/Group of the Year Won
2021 MTV Africa Music Awards 2021 Best Male Act Himself Pending [27]
2021 Mzansi Kwaito and House Music Awards Most Voted Song "Emcimbini" Pending [28]
2021 SA Amapiano Music Awards Best Amapiano male DJ/Act Himself Pending [29]


  1. ^ a b "Kabza De Small is king of Amapiano". Daily Sun.
  2. ^ "Mihlali Ndamase , Kabza De Small and Master KG make Forbes Africa '30 under 30′ list | YOMZANSI". YoMzansi. Retrieved 2 June 2021.
  3. ^ "Kabza De Small Bio and Lyrics". Bimba.
  4. ^ "Kabza De Small". One Nation Music.
  5. ^ "Kabza Says He Will Receive Some Good Rest During Festive Season". ZAlebs.
  6. ^ "ICYMI: Kabza De Small x DJ Maphorisa Bless Fans With Piano hub". Zkhipani.com.
  7. ^ "Listen to Kabza De Small's New EP 'Pretty Girls Love Amapiano'". OkayAfrica.
  8. ^ "DJ Maphorisa and Kabza De Small release much-anticipated album, The Return Of The Scorpion Kings. His latest offering is that of co-producing Blaqboy music present Made With Love EP single Lerato Fela by King Monada". JustNje.
  9. ^ "Kabza De Small - 'Pretty Girls Love Amapiano' | YOMZANSI". YoMzansi.
  10. ^ "7 Amapiano Albums & EPs to Stream Right Now". Okay Africa.
  11. ^ "13 South African Artists To Look Out For In 2021". Okay Africa. Retrieved 10 April 2021.
  12. ^ Hansen, Gabriel Myers. ""African Muzik Magazine Awards 2020: All the winners | Music In Africa". Music In Africa. Retrieved November 2020, 16. Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  13. ^ "DJ Maphorisa and Kabza De Small Enlist Tresor on Their New Amapiano Album". Okay Africa. Retrieved 16 June 2021.
  14. ^ Mike, Steven. "Kabza De Small I Am The King Of Amapiano Album". . Retrieved 10 June 2021.
  15. ^ "Amapiano star Kabza De Small tops SAMA27 nominations". Sowetan Live. Retrieved 16 June 2021.
  16. ^ "Kabza De Small & DJ Maphorisa Team Up With Ami Faku On "Abalele"". Zkhiphani. Retrieved 17 September 2021.
  17. ^ "TRESOR features Kabza De Small, DJ Maphorisa, others on MOTION album". museafrica.com. Retrieved 15 October 2021.
  18. ^ "ICYMI: Kabza De Small Graces Us With New Amapiano mix". Zkhipani.
  19. ^ "Kabza De Small tops Spotify streaming list in South Africa". eNCA.
  20. ^ "Kabza De Small is 2019's Most Streamed South African Artist on Spotify by SA Audiences". OkayAfrica.
  21. ^ "I Am The King Of Amapiano Album (Sweet And Dust)". iminathi. 25 June 2020. Retrieved 5 November 2020.
  22. ^ "Kabza de Small hits back at exhaustion claims: I've never been more alive". TimesLIVE.
  23. ^ "Tressor, Kabza De Small and DJ Maphorisa release Rumble In The Jungle". Just Nje. Retrieved 11 April 2021.
  24. ^ Staff Reporter (15 March 2020). "DStv Mzansi Viewers' Choice Awards 2020: Here are all the winners". GQ.
  25. ^ "SAMAs 2021 Winners". zalebs.com. Retrieved 31 July 2021.
  26. ^ Patience Bambalele (19 May 2021). "Amapiano star Kabza De Small tops SAMA27 nominations". Sowetan LIVE.
  27. ^ "MTV Africa Music Awards 2021: All the nominees". Music In Africa. 27 January 2021. Retrieved 1 July 2021.
  28. ^ Shumba, Ano (18 June 2021). "Mzansi Kwaito and House Music Awards 2021: All the nominees". Music In Africa.
  29. ^ "SA Amapiano Music Awards: Look who's been nominated!". thesouthafrican.com. Retrieved 20 July 2021.