DJ and producer Spoek Mathambo is on a mission to take township techno music to the next level.
Real name Nthato Mokgata, Spoek has witnessed Khayelitsha’s vibrant electronic music scene evolve and wants to create a platform for budding artists to showcase their talents in what he calls the Techno Township movement.
The 32-year-old said Cape Town had a really strong jazz, rock, punk, and traditional music scene. However, a number of traditional instruments had stopped being available.
He said electronic music had allowed people to express themselves with instruments at their disposal.
The artist has partnered with companies Airbnb and VICE, a youth media brand, for a global competition taking place in Cape Town, Paris, New York and Tokyo.
The winners of the competition will get an opportunity to go on cutting edge experiences in these cities. For the South African leg, winners will be able to experience the Township Techno scene with Spoek and Khayelitsha’s own Yolanda Fyrus, and then get to produce a track with them.
Spoek said the competition gavebudding artists a once in a lifetime opportunity to launch their careers.
Spoek said he loved spreading great South African sounds all over the world and giving people a better understanding of our vibrant electronic culture.
He said the vision of the Township Techno movement was to urge artists to embrace the country’s electronic sounds.
Spoek has a degree in creative communications, specialising in graphic and multimedia design and is a qualified doctor.
He worked for short stint for an advertising company but he opted to follow his passion for making music and film.
He released an album, Future Sound of Mzansi, in April and is putting the final touch on his latest album, Batuk.
Spoek was born and bred in Rockville, Soweto, and has travelled the country promoting electronic music.
He believes these electronic sounds are what make South African music unique from other countries and form part of the country’s identity.
“There is always a challenge to find one’s true self and express that in art, and right now I just enjoy making people have a good time. I’m currently editing my first dramatic film, a film we shot in Burkina Faso earlier this year. I have always loved this kind of music, but I do not limit myself. I urge budding artists to explore their creativity and themselves.
“We should encourage new kids on the block because they give this industry a new dimension and direction,” he said.