Oratilwe “Arch Junior”, who rose to stardom in December after a video of him mixing a popular house tune went viral, has been booked for his first international gig this weekend.
The toddler is set to get people dancing at Botswana’s Annual Kid Festival where he will most likely be the youngest act.
“Apparently the whole of Botswana is waiting for him,” DJ AJ’s father, Glen Hlongwane tells News24.
AJ’s humble young parents, Glen and Refilwe Madumo, are stunned by their child’s talent.
“I am sure South Africa is very proud. He is going international just like Trevor Noah [the South African comedian and the next Daily Show host] and Black Coffee [a top South African DJ]. He is going to be another kid that’s going to put the country on the map,” Glen says beaming with pride.
According to Glen and Refilwe, Bow Wow, Keri Hilson, The Game and Missy Elliot are among some of the international super stars who have recognised star quality in their son.
“They saw his video and posted about him on Twitter saying this kid is going to be famous,” the couple says.
It has been a rollercoaster ride for the family since little AJ first hit the spotlight five months ago, reported the Alex Times.
DJ AJ and his parents. (Naledi Shange, News24)
Glen, a part-time DJ and professional gymnastic teacher, and Refilwe, who is currently studying, have had to make some changes to support their emerging superstar.
Just a few weeks ago, AJ recorded his first single with popular house artists Black Motion.
In the track set to be released soon, AJ played the drums – one of his many developing talents.
AJ started showing his drumming skills at a very young age. His parents showed News24 a video of him rhythmically banging on a table with a toothbrush as his mother sang a popular house tune.
And it seems like his parents are determined to grow his love for music and instruments.
They bought him a little xylophone for his third birthday on May 5.
Like father, like son
Glen says it all started when he bought an iPad for AJ just before he was born. He had hoped that his son would benefit from the educational applications on the gadget but after seeing his dad fiddling with the music app on the device, AJ followed in his footsteps – but he seems to have outwitted his father in skill and stardom.
His father says not everyone is convinced by his son’s talent with some people turning to social media to voice their disapproval.
But many top brands have thrown their weight behind the young music maestro.
He has several headphones worth thousands of rands sponsored by Beats by Dr Dre. His main gear sponsor is Algoriddim Djay of which he is also a brand ambassador.
AJ is also dressed by Guess Kids SA and is also their label ambassador.
Northcliff Auto Mini has sponsored a set of wheels for AJ.
He rides in his own red and black branded Mini Cooper when he attends gigs.
At just 36-months-old, AJ has most likely made history by being the youngest student at Boston Media House which gave him a bursary. He attends music classes there weekly.
Where to from here?
On Sunday, AJ entered the SA’s Got Talent competition.
His father admitted they were worried about how AJ would cope in a competitive environment.
“He plays when he wants to play and stops when he wants to,” said Glen, adding that for AJ, music was a fun activity. The family wanted to keep it that way.
As News24 interviewed AJ and his parents at his home in Alexandra, he showed off his skills.
Making his way onto a small table, he put on his headphones, touched the knobs on his iPad and mixer and got the tunes going. DJ AJ tapped his feet and bopped his head to the music as he fidgeted with the controls.
Five minutes later, he fades out the track just like a pro, places his headphones neatly next to his equipment and climbs off the table. After getting applause from his parents, he moves focus from the music and entertains himself by throwing a cushion around. As News24 prepares to leave his home, AJ picked up his stuffed dog toy named Boris and walks us out.
His next gig could be to make it into the Guinness Book of World Records, says his dad.
But he insists AJ is just a regular kid who attends creche and enjoys being outdoors with his friends.
video below of the little DJ in action: