“Dance is a big part of my expression as a DJ,” says Juba. “I dance behind the decks, and want people to dance very hard when they listen to me play.”
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.
We first became aware of Ehua when we premiered her debut track ‘New Moon’ in September 2018. Released via our Best of British Breakthrough Label 2018, femme culture, the track was an atmospheric and percussive cut, which blazed a trail for her subsequent ‘Diplozoon’ EP in November.
There is a unifying force at the heart of Kampire Bahana’s work. For several years now, the Ugandan DJ and writer has been at the helm of the country’s dance music scene, inspiring crowds throughout East-Africa and, more recently, across Europe and beyond. In striving not only to create an electric atmosphere on the dancefloor but also to unite a vast community in the fight against oppression and marginalisation, Kampire has quickly become one of the most vital figures in the continent’s club cultural sphere.
A core member of Uganda’s Nyege Nyege collective – whose label we’re also suitably obsessed with - Kampire broke up an extensive European tour this summer to play at Nyege Nyege festival in the Ugandan town of Jinja. The annual event – more on which you can read below – is yet another testament to the unifying power of what Kampire and her peers do.
Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo’s KOKOKO! made a lasting impression last year with the release of their debut EPs ‘Tokoliana / L.O.V.E.’ and ‘Tongos'a / Likolo’.
Fusing traditional folk rhythms, folkloric themes and vocal techniques with contemporary instrumentation and electronics the outfit have – like fellow Kinshasa group Mbongwana Star – confronted contemporary issues that exist for young people in the city, from political turmoil and money to sex and survival .