When Maputo-based Dj and producer Tarico Simbine, better known as Dj Tarico, tried his hands at Amapiano – the South-African sub-genre sweeping through the continent – in 2019, he was regarded as the very first to attempt it in Mozambique. “I was the very first to do this style [Amapiano] in 2019, I think,” he says, speaking in an interview with The Journalist Dj, earlier in the year. With Maputo, the country’s capital located roughly 2-hours west of Johannesburg, it was pretty easy for Tarico to adapt the airy pads and buoyant, percussive basslines of Amapiano, electing it for the more popular Kizomba, Marrabenta, and Pandza styles.
In the first quarter of 2020, building on his previous attempt with Amapiano, he released a full-length kwaito-influenced project titled Moz Piano. He quickly followed through with Moz Piano vol 2, which spawned his biggest song to date ー the exhilarating “Yaba Buluku”. The record, heavily influenced by Mapara A Jazz’s smash hit “John Vuli Gate,” features similarly spirited chants from Nelson Tivane and Preck scattered over Taricos’s oscillating shakers wavy basslines. In a few months of its release, the record gained a life of its own, birthing a frantic TikTok challenge while also amassing millions of streams.
Looking to further the traction “Yaba Buluku” was steadily gaining, Dj Tarico initially elected to make a remix with a South African artiste. However, plans changed, and he was later able to secure the services of Afrobeats idol and Grammy-award-winning artist Burna Boy for the banging remix, which arrived last week. Accompanied by Preck and Nelson Tivane’s chants are peppy shouts of “Odogwu you bad. E fi le fun Burna,”’ which bounce off Tarico’s electrifying production. The chants (which roughly translates to “Burna is the baddest. Leave it for him”), are words that precisely describe Burna – at least in Nigerian lingua. No one brings quite the kind of swirling, melodic chops and flows he brings to a song.
Daubing his addictive verse over clattering percussions, resonant synths and floating piano chords, the 29-year-old Afrofusionist breathes new life into “Yaba Buluku”, making it instantly ubiquitous in just a few days of its release. Speaking in a press release, Tarico points out how pivotal the collaboration is for him and his team: “ The collaboration with Burna Boy is very amazing and will bear a lot of results for us. It will leverage our career to the highest level…”.
“Yaba Buluku Remix” enters the ever-expanding list of Amapiano records that have received some form of reinvigoration or upgrade by pop heavyweights in Nigeria, highlighting just how vital the Nigerian music scene is to the continent as a whole.