Nozinja is the South African artist, producer and DJ who has masterminded a 21st century reboot of indigenous folk tradition, Tsonga disco, kwaito and house to create the Afro-futurist dance music dubbed ‘Shangaan Electro’. It’s a sound that has spread way beyond the famous street parties he organises to inspire dancefloors worldwide with its rapid fire rhythms, soulful vocal edits and infectious swing. Fresh off the back of recent touring with Shangaan Electro, now is the moment for the man behind it all to enter the spotlight with his debut album on a Western label plus a brand new Nozinja live show forthcoming.
Over the past decade the Soweto-based svengali has produced, released and distributed a vast back catalogue of tapes, CDs and DVDs for the local market, showcasing an array of groups like Tshetsha Boys, BBC and Nkata Mawewe alongside his own solo projects and remix work (Zinja Hlugwani, Xitsonga Dance). The style he has pioneered is unmistakably his own, with its frenetic four four pulse, off-kilter drum fills and joyous minimalism establishing Nozinja as a prized and influential soundclash pioneer.
Gathering momentum internationally via Youtube in the late 2000’s, the sound attracted worldwide attention in 2010 following the release of ‘Shangaan Electro: New Wave Dance Music From South Africa’ on Honest Jons, which provided a compelling snapshot of Nozinja’s activities up to this point. The futureshock of this record was such in electronic circles that Ricardo Villalobos, Actress, Theo Parrish and DJs Rashad & Spinn among others lined up to remix it on a succession of Honest Jon’s 12″s. More recently Dan Snaith (aka Caribou) has put out a string of Nozinja-produced singles (as Xitsonga Dance and Tshetsha Boys) on his Jiaolong imprint.
Nozinja has toured extensively with Shangaan Electro, performing scene-stealing turns at Sonar, Roskilde and Sydney festivals alongside club sessions at the Berghain. Most recently he has curated a festival line up at Paris’s La Gaite Lyrique, devised special dance workshops for all ages and launched his own Nozinja Lodge club night in Dalston.
“Daring, wildly inventive and a rare depth charge in dance music circles” – Pitchfork
“The future sound of Africa and a curveball for dancers” – The Quietus
“A superhuman steel-plated version of traditional music, this frenetic, floor-jacking sound purveyed by entrepreneur Nozinja is a club-friendly sound inspired as much by house and kwaito as it is by their elders” – Red Bull Music Academy
“It’s fantastic, the best thing I’ve heard for a long time. It’s how music should be” – Karin Dreijer Andersson (The Knife)