Located on the outskirts of Johannesburg, the South Western Township AKA Soweto is known to outsiders as the location of the Soweto Uprising of the 70s. Nowadays however, Soweto’s musical scene is beginning to surpass the area's previous political reputation through the birth of musical styles such as Kwaito in the 90s, and more recently, Shangaan electro.
Cell phone repair shop owner turned musician and record label guru, Richard "Nozinja" Mthethwa, pioneered Shangaan electro in 2005 by re-working and speeding up the tempo of traditional Shangaan music. Unlike the original sound of Shangaan that ran at around 110 BPM, with the help of synthesizers, MIDI keyboards and marimba rhythms, Shangaan electro beats hit the 180 BPM mark and create an infectious new wave sound that’s intensely quick, but surprisingly easy on the ears. These hyperactive pulsating rhythms are paired with some hip action and pantsula-inspired moves called the Xibelani dance (check the videos above and below). We can't wait to hear more from Nozinja’s label, Honest Jon’s Records.