A platform for African dance and electronic music has been launched by Apple Music.
The new platform, which has been named Isgubhu — the Zulu word for ‘beat’ — features South African DJ/producer Black Coffee as its first cover star, and will shine a light on subgenres like amapiano, gqom, kwaito and Shangaan electro.
DJ Lag has co-produced a track on Beyoncé's Lion King: The Gift album.
The South African gqom artist is credited on ‘My Power,’ which features Tierra Whack, Beyoncé, Busiswa, Yemi Alade and Moonchild Sanelly. DJ Lag tweeted the news yesterday.
In an interview with ABC, Beyoncé explained that: “This soundtrack is a love-letter to Africa, and I wanted to make sure that we found the best talent from Africa.”
“When gqom came it was made for clubs. Made for nightlife. Dance is the best thing in Durban, so when gqom came, everybody went crazy as it was the perfect combination. That’s why it took over”
“2012 was the year it got super popular in Durban,” Gwala explains. “But it was underrated. At the time the sound was raw. We didn’t know how to master our music. It wasn’t being played on radio or TV. We didn’t get interviews. Nothing. The big artists were trying to stop the sound being big. But, eventually, people started to love what we were doing and they couldn’t stop it. Now it’s the biggest genre in South Africa.”
Gwala describes London as the second home of gqom due to the prominence of artists like Moleskin, the producer and founder of the Goon Club Allstars label, which has been pushing Durban sounds since it released Rudeboyz’s self-titled EP in 2015. He adds that its popularity outside of South Africa — also spurred by the Italian label Gqom Oh! — has played a large part in giving it more credibility in his home country. “I didn’t know how the sound makes the world go crazy until I started touring,” he says of gqom’s global impact.
“I’m happy to see people from around the world trying to be a part of gqom as it’s going to create a big growth for the sound”
Gqom can now be heard across South Africa’s TV and radio, with superstars like Okmalumkoolkat, Cassper Nyovest, Big Nuz and Babes Wodumo — the latter’s ‘Wololo’ racked up almost 10 millions hits on YouTube — adopting the sound into their music. Gwali has recently been in the studio with M.I.A., with the pair currently working on music together, as well as starring on Kelela’s Warp released remix album, ‘Take Me Apart’. That’s all ahead of his debut at Sónar this summer and an upcoming collaboration with Hyperdub.
South African producer Bruce Loko will release his ‘The Black Pearl’ EP via Freerange Recordings on 22nd February.
The Breyton, Mpumalanga-born artist follows up releases on labels like Get Physical Music, Atjazz and Stay True Sounds with his Freerange debut, showcasing once again his striking ability to make house music that is at once spare and rich, minimal and intricate, atmospheric and club ready.
DJ Mag Radio's latest instalment, AKA episode 12, is right here, rounding out the UK's warmest months with plenty of sun-kissed stuff direct from our London hub.
Far from the crowds of Ibiza’s resorts and the kaleidoscopic whirl of its clubs, on a tranquil outcrop overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, a man surveys the view. The shimmering blue water stretching to the horizon suggests limitless possibilities, and for the man — DJ, producer, label owner, entrepreneur and philanthropist Black Coffee, real name Nkosinathi Innocent Maphumulo, Nathi for short — those possibilities have a good chance of being realised.
When we meet, Maphumulo has just flown in from Paris, where he’s attended some high-profile fashion shows. In his relaxed and thoughtful way, he opens up about his gradual, but unstoppable ascension. Into music as a child, Black Coffee liked dancing to local disco and pop, plus international hits from Soul II Soul and Technotronic. He was inducted into DJing while he was still a kid, as part of his cousin’s mobile disco crew.
Cape Town born, Johannesburg-based Jazzuelle AKA Thando Tshoma has been one of the most prevalent artists in the South African dance music scene for some time now. Rising through both city’s ranks thanks to years of hard graft has turned him into an producer that takes nothing for granted and one for whom there can be no half measures. Last year, Tshoma released his debut LP ‘Circles’ on Get Physical Music, a powerful introduction that blended cinematic intent with a club ready verve.
How has the year been so far? What have been some highlights?
“The year’s been amazing. You know the goal is always progress and that’s what I always focus on and I carry that mindset with everything I do. Whatever I do, I have to keep moving forward. There needs to be an element of growth, you know, so the year has been steady and good to me.”
"I'd definitely like to see more artists come out and break through around the world, and for there to be less generalisation that every artist from South Africa, or Africa for that matter, plays Afro house or wears a tribal mask and paints their face..."
How do you see the house music scene in South Africa evolving? Do you feel it is changing? If so, has more global recognition and respect for the scene and style coming out of SA been a positive thing overall?
South Africa's DJ Spoko— real name Marvin Ramalepe— has died aged 35, due to complications arising from a long-term illness, according to reports.
An underground icon in South Africa, he was regarded as one of the leading lights in the so-called Bacardi house scene, an offshoot of kwaito, just one of the prominent genres in the country's fertile dance scene.
Spoko also produced on DJ Mujava's best-selling 'Township Funk', and most recently worked with Matias Aguayo on the Cómeme-released 'Dirty Dancing' EP.
The team behind much-loved UK festival Secret Garden Party are collaborating on a new event in South Africa next year.
Bazique is a collaboration between SGP and local South African promoters such as CTEMF, Sexy Groovy Love and Wolfkop Weekender.