Nozinja is the South African artist famous for creating the revolutionary dance movement dubbed ‘shangaan electro’. A 21st century reboot of local folk tradition, Tsonga disco, kwaito and South African house, Nozinja has transcended these reference points to dream up an innovative and iconic Afro-futurist strain of electronic dance music. There is nothing quite like a Nozinja production: it is home-grown rave music in its purest form.
A mover, shaker and shape-shifter sometimes referred to as ‘Dog’ by his friends and associates, Nozinja’s infectious persona has extended way beyond his position as kingpin of the traditional Shangaan street dance community and the man behind a vast catalogue of cassettes, CD-Rs and DVDs released locally via Nozinja Productions, into the position he now occupies as a hugely influential soundclash pioneer on a global scale.
The shangaan electro sound was brought to wider international attention in 2010 when Honest Jon’s released the stunning compilation ‘Shangaan Electro: New Wave Dance Music From South Africa’. Growing out of the traditional street dances held in Limpopo and Soweto in South Africa, the compilation was essentially a showcase of Nozinja’s production work and the various vocal/dance crews he had assembled. The record and the attention it threw on various YouTube clips of the dancers in action captured the imagination of music fans and fellow artists around the world. Trailblazing touring soon followed, with a succession of wave-making performances at Sonar Festival, Berghain and elsewhere across Europe, Australia and Africa quickly establishing shangaan electro as a club-ready new strain of electronic dance music whose unbridled joy, breakneck speed and creative flair stood way out from the crowd.
Unsurprisingly, Nozinja’s sound has found a particular kinship with other forward thinking electronic producers and DJs, with fans and champions including Caribou, The Knife, Mount Kimbie and Pearson Sound. A high profile series of 12”s on Honest Jon’s capitalised on this with Theo Parrish, Rashad & Spinn, Ricardo Villalobos, Hype Williams and others remixing Shangaan tracks. They were subsequently compiled on the ‘Shangaan Shake’ double CD. 2013 saw the release of 2 brand new Nozinja cuts (under various pseudonyms) on Dan Snaith’s (Caribou, Daphni) Jiaolong label.
Having found a new home on Warp Records, Nozinja will be breaking out fresh tracks and a brand new live show this April/May on a short run of intimate club and festivals, showcasing the inimitable next-level production, hyper-speed dance moves and soulful vocal hooks that make this a club experience like no other.
In the meantime, we recommend taking a look at the following pieces to learn more about the Nozinja story so far, as well as the upcoming shows (dates below) for a taste of what is to come…
Thu 1 Liverpool, Sound City (tickets)
Fri 2 Paris, La Machine du Moulin Rouge (tickets)
Sat 3 Krems, Donau Festival (tickets)
Sun 4 London, Electrowerkz (tickets)
Mon 5 Sheffield, The Harley (tickets)
Thu 8 Gent, Vooruit (tickets)
Fri 9 Berlin, Urban Spree (tickets)
Sat 10 Utrecht, Spiegelbar (tickets)
Fri 22 Katowice, Tauron Nowa Muzyka Festival (tickets)