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Ebenhezer Musandiwa, more commonly – and practically! – known as Soletek – is one of the brightest producer/DJs on the block, having already remixed and/or worked with some of the globe’s best groove merchants – and set to go supernova soon.
Commissions to work with and rework overseas dancefloor experts like Abicah Soul, Terry Hunter, Rachel Claudio and DJ Pap, as well as South African rhythmic royalty like Liquideep, Nomarema and Gee, are just the start for this immensely gifted beat juggler whose love affair with house music was fired by a cousin who used to bring the latest banging compilations over to his place on weekends.
Those CDs, mixed by the likes of Khabzela, Glen Lewis, DJ Fresh, DJ Monde and more, stirred Soletek’s soul – and fired his creative spirit. By 2004 he’d started spinning for his enthusiastic neighbours but had already decided that he wasn’t merely going to play out the tunes he loved by others: he was going to apply his energies to making his own unique beats.
His natural aptitude for production bore fruit relatively quickly: in 2008 his very first single, “Black Gold”, was included on a CD mixed by DJ Shimza, who had just won the country’s most prestigious breakthrough DJing competition, ‘The Next Big Thing’. This recognition boosted his confidence and cemented his resolve to pursue a career in music.
It was a wise decision: the following year he won a global remix competition held by French house master Claude Monnet – an international stamp of approval for just his second foray into the deep waters of deep house. That win also lead to connections in the international dancefloor fraternity, and soon he was working alongside the likes of Abicah Soul and Terry Hunter.
Naturally the local scene had started to take notice of his prodigious production skills, and in next to no time he was remixing then-promising acts like Liquideep and Nomarema. He also signed a deal with the label representing those cool crews, Bass Breaks & Beats, and his remix for Nomarema appeared on the Platinum-selling ‘House Afrika Sessions’ release (sitting snuggly in the third mix of four, Thobs’ lavish ‘Loud & Clear’ set).
In a mere five years, Soletek has gone from stirring the minds and stinging the bodies of the close compatriots living next door to eliciting the admiration of house music aficionados across the country and acquiring the respect of the players that initially got his rhythmic juices flowing. And he’s done this with tracks that aren’t merely body-moving: they’re ‘sole’-stirring too.
Listen out for more blazingly-bright, hot-to-the-touch house music anthems from Soletek in the very near future.