Life's a spin for 7-year-old DJ Arch jnr as he seeks stardom on UK stage

01 September 2019 - 00:00 By Masego Seemela
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Oratilwe AJ Hlongwane.
Oratilwe AJ Hlongwane.
Image: Alon Skuy

He’s only seven years old but Oratilwe AJ Hlongwane is already a familiar face on red carpets across the world.

The grade 1 pupil from Johannesburg, better known as DJ Arch jnr, was officially named as the world’s youngest DJ by Guinness World Records in 2017.

Since winning South Africa’s Got Talent in 2015 when he was three years old, he has been invited to visit and perform in several countries — and now he has his sights set on owning the stage in Britain’s Got Talent: The Champions.

The prerecorded TV show, the first episode of which was broadcast in Britain on August 31, features selected previous winners and finalists of the show, both from Britain and other “Got Talent” franchises.

It will run for six weeks before a winner is crowned. Fans will have to wait and see what the outcome of the competition is as Oratilwe and other contestants are bound by non-disclosure agreements.

“Since winning [South Africa’s Got Talent], the experience has been amazing, people are always happy to see me perform and that makes me happy. I am more popular now and I get to travel all over the world,” Oratilwe told the Sunday Times.

In January, he was selected as one of 25 acts from around the globe to feature on America’s Got Talent: The Champions, where he got a standing ovation from judges Simon Cowell, Mel B and Terry Crews.

In April he was in China to compete in The World’s Got Talent show.

WATCH | DJ Arch Jnr wows the judges on 'America's Got Talent: The Champions'

But back at home, Oratilwe lives a fairly normal life and attends the Future Nation School in Randburg, Johannesburg.

“I really enjoy going to school. My favourite subjects are mathematics and art. I also enjoy hanging out with my friends and doing extramural activities. I don’t find juggling school and deejaying difficult as I do my school work during the week and mostly practise deejaying during weekends,” he said.

Oratilwe mostly plays at children’s parties, corporate gigs and music festivals.

He said deejaying gave him a sense of excitement and happiness. “I love seeing people dance to my sets, especially when they get to see what I can do with my mixes.”

He said he was proud of his achievement and that it brought him joy to represent the country internationally.

Though staying motivated can be challenging for a growing child, Oratilwe said he draws inspiration from his dad, who keeps him on track.

When he isn’t behind the decks, he loves watching and playing soccer.

Oratilwe lives in Florida, Gauteng, with his parents and younger sister. Dad Glen Hlongwane said he made sure his son enjoyed his childhood and didn’t grow up “too quickly”.

“He spends many hours at school during the week with his friends and he also gets time to be with his little sister when he gets home. Him being around his peers structures a normal childhood for him as he is just like any other seven-year-old with a special talent.”

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