Selections: Griffit Vigo
In this regular feature, Selections, we invite DJs, producers and label heads to dig into their digital crates and share the contents of their collections. This week, gqom pioneer Griffit Vigo shines a light on his peers and artists pushing the genre forward, along with some of his favourite electronic music
Clubs around the world are shut, and opportunities to find new music out in the wild have been ripped from under our feet as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. While hearing new music played out by your favourite DJs will have to be put on hold due to these unprecedented circumstances, it’s never been easier, or more important, to support the artists and labels putting out EPs, albums and compilations in the midst of all the madness.
With tour cancellations and festival postponements leaving many members of the international electronic music community out of pocket, Bandcamp has become an even more vital platform for supporting the music you love, with 80% of all sales from the online music store going directly to artists and labels. In March, the platform announced it would be waiving its revenue share for all sales for one day, and on Friday 20th, took no cut from purchases made. In total, $4.3 million was spent on music over the course of 24 hours, all going straight to the creators. Throughout lockdown, Bandcamp continued to waive their fees on the first Friday of every month, as well as on 19th June (Juneteenth), when the platform donated 100% of its profits to the NAACP Legal Defence Fund. In July, it was announced that a fee-free "Bandcamp Friday" would take place on the first Friday of each month for the rest of 2020.
In this series, Selections, we’re inviting DJs, producers and label heads to dig into their digital crates and share the contents of their collections. In lieu of opportunities to discover new records on the dancefloor, Selections – along with radio shows and mixes – will give you the chance to nab sounds from the crates of tastemakers, and support the artists behind them while you’re at it. Win-win, right?
This week, gqom pioneer Griffit Vigo shines a light on his peers and artists pushing the genre forward, from London’s Hagan to his fellow Durban native, Citizen Boy. He also flags up some of his favourite electronic music, particularly the South African deep house sound of Culoe De Song and Black Coffee.Vigo, who started producing music in 2004, spearheaded the syncopated, percussive and bass-heavy sound of gqom in the early 2010s. Alongside artists including DJ Lag, Rudeboyz, Emo Kid and Dominowe, he has earned his reputation with genre-defining tracks like ‘Ree’s Vibe’ and 'DJ'.
Though it began as an underground sound in the townships of South Africa, drawing influence from kwaito, house and techno, gqom has gone on to become something of a global phenomenon. DJ Lag co-produced a track on Beyoncé’s Lion King soundtrack, and its distinctive rhythms have filtered into the work of electronic music producers around the world.
Vigo’s new album ‘I Am Gqom’ will be released on 20th October via Gqom Oh!, one of the genre’s foremost labels. Drawing influence from Zulu culture, and envisioning a future for the style he helped develop, ‘I Am Gqom’ explores Vigo’s own ancestral heritage while keeping an eye firmly on the dancefloor. Pre-order it here via Bandcamp.
Check out Griffit Vigo’s Selections below.
“This EGM (Electronic Gqom Music) inspires me to explore more of my deepest thoughts without consciousness. Hagan is one of the best producers I've ever met on this planet, he produces music that is incomparable to anything else. He is such a versatile producer and in my opinion a genius.”
“‘Sambuka Dance’ has an ancestral vibe to it. It reminds me of a time when gqom was 'real', from 2010-2016. During that time I used to go to a club called "58" in Durban, I even produced a gqom beat titled ‘58 On Albany’.”
“This track takes you back to a time before gqom. It's kind of like a tribal sgubhu, I think his mission was to show people where gqom started and where it led us as gqom producers.”
“'Hebidoramu' reminds me of the big tribal scene in Africa before Afrohouse was born. When I first listened to music it was tribal, core tribe, old school slow jams, deep house and house, but I ended up being a ‘gqom originator’”
“His style is beyond just gqom. It has many other styles within it such as hip hop. This kind of style makes me reflect on my own sound, the same as Hagan from London, UK. Citizen Boy will always be that boy from his city of Durban!”
Buy on Beatport
“I always say, as a producer, you must always be creative. I find this track so interesting and inspiring. Culoe De Song is part of music culture first, and an incredible artist second. Sampling and looping can also create your own signature style, and this is a priority for me. You can hear this in his work back then. He also worked with African vocalists [and producers]: people like Busi Mhlongo, Thandiswa Mazwayi, Black Coffee etc.”
“While listening to this tribal house track, you begin to understand the title. The different elements and sounds in the track create imagery of a geyser emitting water and steam. This is the type of creativity that I believe in.”
“This is a banger that I immediately fell in love with when I first saw & heard it on TV. I was also happy for my gqom fellas that produced it: Rudeboyz.”
Buy on Beatport
“We dance again! It kinda sounds like a club anthem to me, where we'd usually meet to dance, while being controlled by the DJ. Some of the electronic elements that are included on this project also reflect techno and house. It's vibrant and heavy but at the same time sounds light.”