South African bringing 'Township Funk' to the masses

For those not familiar with DJ Mujava... Shame on you.

Mujava’s early release, 'Township Funk', was pimped out to the misguiding fog of the music blogosphere, only to come bursting out as an established bench mark of the South African 'Pretoria sound'. YouTubers lapped it up like hungry dogs of house music and a vast array of remixes and a cappella dubs followed. If it’s not the club smash of 2008, we don’t know what is.

Mujava sat back and enjoyed. “I think it's great. I love the remixes of my work, especially by Ashley Beedle. It puts a brand new flavour to my music,” he says when Clash catches up with the South African. Not long ago he was ditching his keyboard and sacrificing parties to save up for his first computer. Now Mujava is Trevor Jackson's mood-setter.

The laidback, unruffled manner of DJ Mujava makes one feel the need to throw a reality check…

You're 23. You're first single has taken off and you're about to tour for the first time in Europe. Erol Alkan loves you. Hot Chip love you. This Is Music have signed you. Are you nervous at all? Shocked? Anything?

“It's all just encouraging. I'm not shocked, just surprised.”

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DJ Mujava – ‘Township Funk’

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The truth is, Elvis Maswanganyi (DJ Mujava’s real name) is not arrogant – he is simply cooler than the most highly refrigerated cucumbers. It's not necessarily an over-confidence in self-ability, but the congenial attitude of a grateful artist. The 'boy-come-good' feel of his background adds a DIY/underdog aesthetic that intensifies the appeal: “My biggest supporters back home were the taxi drivers. I gave my music to them and they played it in their cars, supporting me constantly.”

Mujava has been driving the South African club scene forward with numerous album releases. European ears, however, have been restricted to just the one physical release from the Pretorian ambassador of dance, but prepare for the '09 onslaught: “I'm planning on releasing an album next year. February. It's going to be all new material, but with a similar style to my older ones from home.”

So, when you hit up the filthy beats of Fabric next year (or your nearest local provider of club behaviour), looking for French electro, beware: it will be bent over, by the fire exit, with the tantalising beats of Kwaito-house aimed squarely at its rear end.


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