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DJ Arch Jnr’s Dad: America’s Got Talent Performance Was ‘Like a Dream’


Remember the two-year-old from Alexandra who made waves back in 2014 after a video of him playing house music went viral?

Now six, DJ Arch Jnr is still making waves but on an international platform.

The little man, whose real name is Oratilwe “Arch Junior” (AJ) Hlongwane, got a standing ovation after delivering a thrilling audition on the America’s Got Talent (Champions) stage – in a performance his father Glen Hlongwane described as “like a dream”.

The episode was aired in the US on Monday night.

Known for pumping South African house tunes and getting crowds on their feet, he gave something different to his US audience when he rendered a set with popular American hip hop music.

After a sterling performance, the usually hard-to-please judge Simon Cowell told DJ Arch Jnr that he would love to engage in talks with him after the show.

“I’ve got some plans for you. I think you are a total, total little star. I absolutely love you,” Cowell said.

The other judges – Howie Mandel, Mel B, and Heidi Klum – were also blown away with his performance, with Klum saying “he was by far the coolest six-year-old’s that she had ever met”.

Speaking to TimesLIVE on Tuesday, proud dad Glen Hlongwane said: “The majority of the acts were from the US and Britain. AJ was the only one from Africa.

“I was not worried because he had already won SA’s Got Talent, although we knew it would be tough,” he added.

He said competing at the event was “like a dream”.

DJ Arch Jnr took part in a special show where the top 50 acts from all around the world had been invited to compete on the American stage.

The 50, some of whom were winners in their own countries or had delivered what were  deemed to be outstanding acts in their own countries, took part in the show in December.

In preparation, he listened to some popular American jams.

“We knew it would be easier to get the audience hooked on to music they knew. We had only a few minutes on the stage and had to think how long it would take for them to get used to the South African house sound,” said Hlongwane.

Hlongwane sat in the audience and was in awe of the reaction that his son received from the audience.

“He’s more grown up than when he was on SA’s Got Talent but on that huge set he seemed so tiny. But I was sitting there, watching people go crazy,” Hlongwane said.

The youngster has already visited several countries including Spain, Italy, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Botswana and Swaziland, but his father says the American tour remains a highlight.

“The experience was a lot for him and they took great care of him,” Hlongwane said.

He did not make it to the next round of the competition but his father applauded him for being “the youngest act on the show and the youngest act to ever win the show in any of the other countries”.

Asked about what working opportunities had been tabled by Cowell, Hlongwane said they were waiting for the full season of the show to wrap up before pursuing that, but they were still in communication.

The list of achievements by the young DJ – who won SA’s Got Talent aged five – includes a Guinness World Record title for the youngest club DJ.

When he’s not spinning the decks, he is a regular grade two pupil.

His dad is also teaching him computer coding at home.

“He is a very smart kid,” said Hlongwane.

Asked where to from here, he said it was impossible to say, highlighting that nothing was impossible for the young man.

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