Oratilwe Hlongwane, a.k.a. DJ AJ, has become a viral phenomenon in South Africa with a dedicated fan following of thousands. But here’s the twist – he’s actually a two-year-old kid! While he can barely speak, the incredibly talented toddler can work a DJ console like a pro.
AJ is so good at DJing that he has fans hankering after his heavy-bass house music. The record spinning toddler has made a few special appearances and also bagged sponsorship deals with various brands. His most recent performance was at a shopping mall in his hometown of Johannesburg, where a large crowd gathered to groove to his music.
AJ’s mother, Refiloe Marumo, attributes the boy’s astounding skills to his father Glen Hlongwane’s decision to buy him an iPad even before he was born. Glen, a gymnastics coach, wanted to use the iPad to download educational apps to speed up the kid’s education. Incidentally, he happens to be an aspiring DJ, so he also downloaded a DJ app for his own use.
By the age of one, AJ had learned how to use the tablet and started playing with the DJ app himself. Soon, the little tyke was able to repeat everything he had learned on the app on his dad’s DJing equipment, complete with sound effects and bouncing between songs.
“I was playing with my mixer, with the actual mixer, playing the hit song ‘Kose Kuse,’” Glen explained. “So now I got tired and I’m like, ‘Let me just sit a little bit, just to watch TV,’ but I left the music playing. Then as I was watching TV I didn’t realise that AJ actually went to the mixer and started DJing.”
“Whatever he was doing with the mixer turning the knobs, the timing of him doing what he was doing was so good and he knew where the effect button was, he pressed the effect button and started fading in and fading out. And I was like to the mom, ‘Hey listen just take a video of this.’”
The proud parents recorded AJ at work and posted the video online, and it promptly went viral. The youngster now has nearly 30,000 followers on Facebook.
Although AJ has his own band of fans and admirers, his fame has brought his parents a fair share of criticism as well. Some people have accused them of child abuse and trying to profit from the child’s unique ability. But AJ’s father insisted that he has no intention of ‘exploiting the kid’ by letting him play at parties or clubs.
“It was hard hearing stuff about our kid and not having the power to fight back,” said AJ’s mother Refiloe. “We see that whether you do good or bad people will forever talk. And a lot of, you know, celebrity people go through that, so it’s something that we had to learn and get over.”
The parents also clarified that they wouldn’t force the boy to become a DJ when he’s older, but believe that his musical affinity would probably dictate his future.
Photos: Facebook/DJ AJ