Spoek Mathambo

Based: Johannesburg

Spoek Mathambo is the stage name of South African musician (Singer-Rapper-Producer-DJ), Nthato Mokgata.

At the vanguard of a new wave of African artists, Spoek is hitting the world hard with his take on Afro-futurism. His unique vision on electronic music, infuses futurism with a strong sense of pride in where he comes from. It is clearly African music, but like none that has ever been heard or made before. The Johannesburg native started rapping at the young age of 10 and was as much influenced by 90s American rap as the growing wave of Johannesburg rap most energetically exhibited on the YFM radio show, The Rap Activity Jam. Spoek had his own entrance into the music industry upon his move to Cape Town in 2003, through a long creative collaboration with the already prominent South African DJ Sibot, who mentored the young artist and helped him develop his skills as a recording and performing artist.

In August 2010, Spoek Mathambo released his debut album Mshini Wam on BBE Records, which would begin to hint at the artist’s width of styles and influences. With Mshini Wam, Spoek Mathambo coined the genre/style Township Tech, a way of describing his own as well as his contemporaries’ work in furthering the soundscape of South African house music. The Mshini Wam album garnered much critical and fan acclaim, which was partly due to the vibrant music videos that were released in support of the music.

Spoek has toured extensively in the USA, Argentina, Brazil, England, France, Germany, Poland and Portugal. In 2011, Spoek Mathambo signed a multi-album deal with the legendary Seattle-based imprint, Sub Pop (Postal Service, The Shins, Nirvana, Beach House, Coco Rosie) and has already completed work on his sophomore album, which he produced and recorded between the USA, South Africa and Sweden. The resulting album Father Creeper signaled the maturing of Spoek Mathambo’s artistry, having undertaken more production duties on the project as well as having recorded with his live band.

Spoek went into the studio to work with Damon Albarn (Blur Gorillaz) on a collaboration. This followed by a tour with Damon Albarn’s Africa Express which featured artists including Tony Allan, Nneka, Amadou & Mariam, Baloji, Charli XCX, Fatoumata Diawara, Jupiter & Okwess International, Kano, Bassekou Kouyate, Baaba Maal, The Noisettes, Bombay Bicycle Club, Rokia Traore and Nick Zinner from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

Following this, Spoek Mathambo had returned back to South Africa as he set the summer of 2012 alight with the release of his third album collaborated with Sony Music Entertainment Africa. This release was accompanied with performance dates from October 2012 – January 2013.

 

 

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