Dubbed the rightful heirs to the original ‘Afro Futurists’, luminescent reps to the essence of their generation, the BLK JKS are an internationally acclaimed award winning South African post rock band of a completely unique order.
Formed in the early 2000’s, like the realization of a dream, with members hailing equally from the east and western townships of Johannesburg, namely Soweto and Spruitview, their destinies collided in the centre of the big bad African cosmopolitan district of Newtown in Johannesburg.
BLK JKS’ electrifyingly curious charm, independent vinyl releases and powerful live shows built them a global fan base. Their honesty and bold embrace of otherness captured imaginations of music lovers and loyalists of multiple genres worldwide.
In 2008, BLK JKS landed the cover of New York-based FADER magazine and were spotted by US record label Secretly Canadian at SXSW where Billboard Magazine named drummer Tshepang Ramoba best musician at the festival – SC signed them soon after. Their debut LP, After Robots, was produced by Brandon Curtis (Secret Machines) and released in 2009.
The critically acclaimed “After Robots” received widespread recognition. BLK JKS’ grueling tours across Europe and the United States included headline shows, jams and collaborations with the likes of Alicia Keys, Hugh Masekela, Vieux Farka Toure, Tiesto, The Roots and Femi Kuti.
In December 2014, the BLK JKS opened for the Foo Fighters in Johannesburg and Cape Town at the personal request of Dave Grohl, a big fan.
On one hand it’s easy to politicize BLK JKS, a band that is instantly young, black, and fly…as they reclaim styles that have been stolen, watered down, and regurgitated for generations. And yet to get caught up in anything but their sound is to sell this phenomenon short, because as musicians – as artists – BLK JKS simply cook.
In between film projects (guitarist, Mpumelelo Mcata’s documentary film ‘Black President’ premiered at the Berlinale Film Festival, February 2015) bassist Molefi Makananise’s community work and consistent bookings of offshoot DJ outfit – BLKJKSSNDSYSTM…the band is currently working on new material and plotting their next grand adventure, a tour