Popular
Spoko at Okayafrica presents Black Coffee, DJ Spoko & Electrafrique at Central Park SummerStage. Photo: Jake Salyers

DJ Spoko, Pioneer South African Producer, Has Passed Away

DJ Spoko's unique style of production was highly-influential across South Africa and the globe.

News has been spreading across social media today that South African producer Marvin Ramalepe, better known as DJ Spoko, has passed away. A representative for the artist confirmed the news to Crack Magazine.

DJ Spoko started producing on a PC as a teenager in Atteridgeville, a township outside Pretoria where he and his brother had moved to in order to find their father.

In the early 2000s, Spoko traveled to Soweto, where he fine-tuned his engineering skills under shangaan electro mastermind Nozinja. After returning home and setting up his own studio, Spoko helped craft the percussion pattern behind DJ Mujava's massive hit "Township Funk."


"Without Spoko, there would be no Gqom"

From there, he developed his own 'Bacardi House' genre — a kwaito-influenced style that pairs jolting military drums with pitched-up melodies — featured in his impressive Ghost Town (True Panther) and War God (Lit City Trax) releases, as well as in his Fantasma project with Spoek Mathambo.

"Without Spoko, there would be no Gqom," producer Jumping Back Slash commented on Twitter.

More recently, he had launched his own label, Ghetto Boyz Music, releasing his own projects, like the outstanding BACARDIXVILP, as well as signing new talent.

Several aritsts and friends have been paying tribute to DJ Spoko on social media.

See some below and make sure you blast DJ Spoko's truly magical music loud today.


Interview

Sarkodie Is Not Feeling Any Pressure

The elite Ghanaian rapper affirms his king status with this seventh studio album, No Pressure.

Sarkodie is one of the most successful African rappers of all time. With over ten years of industry presence under his belt, there's no question about his prowess or skin in the game. Not only is he a pioneer of African hip-hop, he's also the most decorated African rapper, having received over 100 awards from close to 200 nominations over the span of his career.

What else does Sarkodie have to prove? For someone who has reached and stayed at the pinnacle of hip-hop for more than a decade, he's done it all. But despite that, he's still embracing new growth. One can tell just by listening to his latest album, No Pressure, Sarkodie's seventh studio album, and the follow-up to 2019's Black Love which brought us some of the Ghanaian star's best music so far. King Sark may be as big as it gets, but the scope of his music is still evolving.

Sonically, No Pressure is predominantly hip-hop, with the first ten tracks offering different blends of rap topped off with a handful of afrobeats and, finally, being crowned at the end with a gospel hip-hop cut featuring Ghanaian singer MOG. As far as the features go, Sark is known for collaborating mostly with his African peers but this time around he branches out further to feature a number of guests from around the world. Wale, Vic Mensa, and Giggs, the crème de la crème of rap in America and the UK respectively all make appearances, as well as Nigeria's Oxlade, South Africa's Cassper Nyovest, and his fellow Ghanaian artists Darkovibes and Kwesi Arthur.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

The 7 Best Nigerian Songs of the Month (July)

Featuring Olamide, Lady Donli, Omah Lay, Adekunle Gold, Falz and more.