Syrupy blue and pink visuals accompany an electronic African sound

South African DJ and “kwaaiwave” producer, Maramza and vocalist, Moonchild pair their dreamy track “Inkwenkwezi” with even dreamier visuals.

South African producer and DJ, Maramza is a pioneer on the South African electronic music scene. Influenced by the time-honoured kwaito music indigenous to Southern Africa and a local style of house music, Maramza crafts an Afro electronic, bass-beat sound that has been christened kwaaiwave.

For “Inkwenkewzi” Maramza lays down his characteristic kwaaiwave sound and the blue-haired songstress Moonchild sweeps in with her soothing and delicate vocals to elevate the track. This cross-cultural and cross-genre collaboration between the two artists lends itself well to both of their creative talents.  

“[The track is] a narcotic, syrupy mix of wavy bass music and divine, ethereal vocals,” Maramza told Okayafrica.

Singing hypnotically, Moonchild muses about the stars, both the Hollywood kind and the kind in the sky, and her lyrics explore disillusionment with both. “As Moonchild explains it, when you’re in the city, you struggle to see the stars in the night sky; much like how these days there are no real stars – as in personalities and role-models. You keep searching for them but you just can’t really see them,” says Maramza.

The visuals were created through a collaborative effort with Angus MacKinnon filming Moonchild in Johannesburg, and Georgina Warner filming Maramza in Cape Town.

The gooey, microorganism-looking visuals projected onto Moonchild and scattered through the video are the work of Cape Town-based artist, Morgans Momm. Paired with the audio, the sticky pink and blue visuals are a disruption of the antiquated views of African cultural production. The artists prove that while wax prints and drums are integral part of the arts on the content, they aren’t a representation of the whole.

The audio and the visual are both a confident statement about the state of electronic and digital art in Africa. While it’s impossible to review the entire continent, it seems that electronic and digital artistic production in Africa is developing a distinctive character and gaining traction across the internet.