Founded in 2000 in Johannesburg, South Africa, the indie rock act BLK JKS is comprised of guitarists Lindani Buthelezi and Mpumi Mcata, who grew up together in Johannesburg’s East Rand, and Soweto natives Molefi Makananise (bass) and Tshepang Ramoba (drums). BLK JKS made their international recording debut in 2007 with a limited-edition 10″ vinyl release of the single “Lakeside”. In 2008 the band was befriended by Diplo during a DJ tour of South Africa, and after he spread some positive word about them, BLK JKS were offered a recording contract with Secretly Canadian, one of America’s premier indie rock labels. The band made its Secretly Canadian debut in 2009 with the four-track Mystery EP, which was recorded in collaboration with producer Brandon Curtis of Secret Machines and features a new version of “Lakeside.” Around this time, BLK JKS became a media favorite, appearing on the cover of the trendsetting magazine Fader, and mounted tours of both the United States and Europe, including appearances at the South by Southwest and Big Chill festivals. Not long after their debut full length After Robots in late 2009, the band released “Dreaming” a collaboration with global DJ phenom Tiesto, then returned with a second EP Zol! in advance of their performance at the World Cup 2010 kickoff concert in South Africa.
Jason Birchmeier, Rovi / Pandora