NewsBlack History Month

Father-Daughter duo use Amapiano, House Music to connect cultures

Posted at 5:35 PM, Feb 14, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-14 17:35:06-05

DETROIT (WXYZ) — With the drop of a beat, Isis House can bring the sounds of South Africa to the city of Detroit.

"As a DJ it’s really rewarding to see the people that you came to play for on the dance floor and they’re like wow this is amazing. I love your set," said House.

House has been performing under the stage name DJ Auset for the last few years. She makes up 1/3 of the trio Ama Detroit. Her father, who was her inspiration to get into the profession of DJing, is also a part of the trio.

"I saw somebody doing tricks with turntables at a party. I said I want to learn how to do that and didn’t stop until I learned how to do that. This marks my 40th year pretty much of DJing," said Uri House who goes by DJ Heru.

The two say they enjoy a lot of different kinds of music but their specialty is Amapiano which is a music genre similar to house music but has influences from traditional African genres and Jazz.

"It’s upbeat. The emphasis or the cadence is different than traditional music we’ve been listening to, traditional hip hop, house, techno. It’s an adventure," said DJ Heru.

The father-daughter DJs say the music is about more than dancing. It can also be a political statement.

"It’s pretty much just like hip hop. What they could get hold of in the shanties and the towns and mixed up what they were hearing coming off the radio. Amapiano is very much similar in its growth like hip hop. The resistance is there in the drum like hip hop. Like boom boom boom. We’re here. Boom boom boom. Our heart is still beating. The community is still fostering new energies or new resistance to oppression," said DJ Heru.

The two also say the music is a way to bring people together, and it has been used to do just that by Black people across the globe for generations.

"Since the beginning of time, from when we became Americans, people were singing songs to get through the day. We were using songs to express how we actually felt without getting in trouble," said Dj Auset as she sat next to her dad. "I think it is medicine. It is a cure. It is self-expression. Oh, man. Music is everything. It is us. "

DJ Heru says with so much tragedy in the world, it's important to him that he shares joy by way of music. He says he's proud to be passing that musical legacy on to his daughter.

"It’s really nice to see people feeling lifted. We just been through a very horrific moment and there’s still lingering effects of that and offering the people something that makes them feel better about life or just feel good is so important to me," said DJ Heru.

For more information on upcoming shows by Ama Detroit, follow them on their social media profiles.