South African artist DJ Spoko, a pioneer of the Bacardi house genre, has passed away. The recent death has resulted in an outpouring of tributes on social media this afternoon, March 14.
Back in October 2015 it was reported that DJ Spoko had become ill during his tour of Europe. He was later treated for TB at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow. The cause of his death is not yet known at this time.
After being raised in the town of Tzaneen in South Africa, DJ Spoko, real name Marvin Ramalepe, moved to Atteridgeville near Pretoria where he started making music and studying sound engineering from his mentor Shangaan Electro’s Nozinja. He earned critical acclaim in 2008 when he produced Mujava’s ‘Township Funk’ on Warp Records, which showcased DJ Spoko’s unique sound profile of fusing hard hitting percussive rhythms with cosmic, piercing synths.
This distinct style of music would become widely known as Bacardi house with DJ Spoko’s material released on True Panther Sounds, Cómeme, Lit City Trax as well as his own Ghetto Boyz Entertainment.
Once news of his passing spread, tributes directed at DJ Spoko came from a variety of his supports. Read a selection below.
Gathering thoughts now....but devastated to say goodbye to Marvin Ramalepe aka DJ Spoko. We became good friends despite what might've seemed like a huge chasm of cultural class and racial differences because of a real shared love of music. pic.twitter.com/OWfAeOHYrf— TRUE PANTHER SOUNDS (@truepanther) March 14, 2018
DJ Spoko was connecting tissue of this country’s unique genres..without Spoko there would be no Gqom, he invented Bacardi House and he was behind so much Shangaani music it ain’t funny..he was, is and forever will be very very important x— JUMPINGBACKSLASH (@thisisjbs) March 14, 2018