At the vanguard of a new wave of young African artists, producer/ singer/rapper Spoek – defined and refined by his unique take on music – is bringing an original and futuristic sound to a global following.
Spoek’s early work included collaborations with his mentor, South African producer Sibot, under the name Playdoe; and releases on influential underground dance music labels Boys Noize Records, Mad Decent, Shitkatapult and Get Physical which saw his profile rise through collaborations with artists including Robyn, Diplo, Schlachthofbronx, Cerebral Vortex, Adam Tensta, Douster and Djedjotronic.
Debut album ‘Mshini Wam’ was released to critical acclaim in 2010 on BBE Records, demonstrating Spoek’s wide range of styles and influences, and coining the genre/style ‘Township Tech’ – a description of the work by Spoek and his contemporaries in furthering the soundscape of South African house music.
Music videos released in support of ‘Mshini Wam’ include the award-winning ‘Control’ – a cover of Joy Division’s ‘She’s Lost Control’. The video picked up a Young Director Award at the 2011 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, as well as a Gold Award at South Africa’s Loeries in 2011, while racking up nearly 350,000 views on YouTube. Meanwhile Spoek was nominated in the Best African Act category at the 2011 Mobo Awards.
2012 saw the release of Spoek’s second album ‘Father Creeper’ on Sub Pop, which broadened his sound palette to include additional live instrumentation and more personal song writing, and featured guest appearances by Zach Hill (Death Grips) and Chllngr; as well as the release of compilation album ‘Future Sound of Mzansi’ – which MTV said ‘has it all’ – and a second nomination for Best African Act, at the 2012 MOBO Awards.
Summer 2013 saw the digital release of a 12 track mix tape and companion computer game ‘Escape From ‘85’, featuring Yadi, Terri Walker, BB James, Fannie Sosa, DJ Maddjazz and Chris P Cuts. He has also premiered a new music video ‘Awufuni’ on Vice music channel Noisey, in association with the Studio Africa Project.
Spoek is currently working on his third album and a documentary about South African electronic music, titled ‘Future Sound of Mzansi’, produced and directed by Spoek. He was nominated for Best African Act at the 2013 MOBO Awards and released his second mixtape of 2013, ‘Wavecrusher’, premiered on Dazed Digital last October.