The superbly simple blend of electronic tribal beats and acid bleeps of 2008's worldwide dancefloor smash "Township Funk" might have marked him as the international ambassador for the South African brand of dance music known as kwaito. Little did the world know that DJ Mujava, at 23, was already a well-known and almost veteran figure in the South African music scene. Growing up in the township of Attridgeville, Pretoria, Mujava took an interest in music from an early age. Inspired by both American house music and local DJs, he started practicing with a small keyboard at home. While he dropped out of high school at 16, his brother bought him a computer and music-making software, and using both, he started to hone his skills more seriously. Showcasing his productions around Pretoria, he soon became an under-the-radar sensation.
Word of mouth eventually caught up with gospel producer Cry, with whom he formed a production company. Mujava and Cry then went on to produce a variety of well-known local artists, ranging from gospel singers to hip-hop groups. At the same time, Mujava's budding DJ career led to a series of best-selling mix albums in the South African market. Stepping out on his own, he created his own production company. Assorted house music productions followed, among them "Township Funk," which became a national smash. International interest ensued, and the track's video became an Internet phenomenon, receiving attention from the renowned British electronica label Warp. First released as a white label in early 2008, its exotic style tapped into the wonky/funky house trend then sweeping British dancefloors, leading to major support by some of Britain's top club DJs. The track's dancefloor success spread throughout Europe during the summer, with different sets of remixes furthering its appeal well into 2009. ~ Ricardo Rainho