Everything you like and need in one place: The Spaza$hop! Comprised of Charlie Macc and Jonny Joburg these heads are more than willing to wake you up to their fire via the use of shock therapy. This JHB-based duo that mixes electro, kwaito and hip-hop, have a few songs to wake you up plus, an upcoming album set to drop at the end of October.


OSS: Spaza$hop! Where does it all begin?

S$: SPAZA$HOP began in 2009. Two kids looking for a way to channel their energies and dreams. It was frustration, ambition and longing that got us writing raps in a three-room house in Soweto. We felt our rhymes so much that we found a studio and started recording. The first track we did was ‘Anti-gravity’. Turns out that track was hot because it became our first number 1 thus reassuring us that music was indeed our path.

Growing up who were guys looking up to?

Charlie Macc’s early influences were kwaito and house music loving artists like Dr Mageu. He frequented Electric Workshop in his teens. As Jonny Joburg I have always been into rock ‘n roll and American hip-hop with bands like Rage Against The Machine and Eminem molding me as a kid. All these influences have translated into SPAZA$HOP! Infact it’s why we’re called SPAZA$HOP! cause that’s where you find everything you like, everything you need for everybody.

Sunlight soap for the hood and Lux for the bougie niggas. We represent the ghetto kid who went to school in the suburbs and the suburban kid who spent weekends in the hood. It’s the juxtaposition of two worlds and the creation of a third.

What has the evolution been from Spaz$hop Boys to Spaz$hop! ?

SPAZA$HOP! aint boyz no more. We’re both 26 years old and we have a record label that’s partnered with some major players in music. We are now business MEN.

The Rehab Tony video seems to measure up to the song title, you guys have a lot of striking imagery in it, reiterating the song title. The contrasts from hospitals, to soldiers and opulence are pretty insane. What inspired the track and how does it correlate with the video?

Rehab Tony is actually one of the many Aka’s of the producer Francis Muller. He has a whole album’s worth of music that he’s done as Rehab Tony and when I heard it I was like lemme jump on that ish. The track is an edgy party jam and the video is just as edgy if not more. The video is a story of two guys being resurrected through a ritual and being set on their paths. We were resurrected from doing hip-hop as we knew it to this new sound, new look, new world.

Who are you guys in your day-to-day lives?

We wake up Charlie Macc and Jonny Joburg and go to bed Charlie Macc and Jonny Joburg. Charlie is a house DJ and aspiring actor whilst Jonny is a music producer and runs Renaissance-Rock Recordings.

What’s the ultimate goal you’d like to achieve as Spaza$hop!?

To take what people think is just a niche market sound to the average kid on the street.

So what are the plans moving forward with the album dropping in October?

We have some shows we’re organising with the owner of The Woods and Townhall in Newtown, Johannesburg. Take our music directly to the kids who’ll appreciate it. Then after that we gotta take it everywhere-else. Especially to the people who think they’re not into it. They just don’t know it yet.

Are there any other big announcements to be on the lookout for?

The Biggest announcement is the ‘Pinki Pinki’ video dropping in October and the album dropping October 31st.

What has the reception of the music been this far in terms of a country-wide response?

The first people to show us love were the executives and the blogs. The people have needed some education but they’re finally on our page. I think ‘Pinki Pinki’ is the perfect blend of influences; two parts electro and two parts Kwaito. The kids really dig it.

Any small towns to shout out?

S/O Diepkloof, Soweto and S/O Umlazi township in Durban.

Who would win a fight: Obama or Mandela?

The fight would be rigged so I ain’t putting my money down.

Interview by Phumlani Pikoli
image credit: Toni-J Photography