Sample DJ Lag’s new flavour gqom
BEFORE DJ Lag became the Gqom pioneer, he began playing with beats on the popular music editing software Fruity Loops (now FL Studio).
“I started producing for my brother, a rapper, in 2006. I tried different things and then started doing hip hop beats, but that wasn’t my thing, and I eventually changed to house music.”
It was when the 21-yearold first heard a song by Durban’s Nakedboys that he decided to venture into the gqom genre.
“I decided I wanted to do a track similar to what they were doing. It’s called broken beat. They were the first to do it in SA.”
The DJ, born Lwazi Asanda Gwala – hence the name Lag – has used his producing skills to take him on to international stages.
He was born and bred in KwaZulu-Natal. His selftitled EP came out last year and has been received well locally and internationally.
Gwala has performed across the country, including at the Cape Town Electronic Music Festival, and has shared the stage with the likes of Skrillex and Euphonik at the Bridges For Music workshop in Kliptown, Soweto.
“When I really started producing gqom and bringing out tracks, I knew that this genre was where I belong. The fans have been so good. I hear the music being played in markets and at taxi ranks, and I just know this is what I should stick to.”
He broke into the international scene at the Unsound Festival in Poland and performed in Seoul, South Korea, late last year. He is currently in the UK promoting his EP, before bringing his flavour of gqom to Switzerland and Austria’s Donau Festival.
“I’m going to be touring a lot in September, going to the US for a month, and then again for a Europe and Asia tour.”
For now, though, he is giving his fans a chance to experience his new EP, Trip to New York, via WhatsApp when he releases it on Friday.
“It’s a cool way to do it. That’s how I used to distribute my music before blogs and websites: I’d send my music links to friends via WhatsApp and use Facebook links. This song is different from the gqom the fans are used to hearing. It has a sgubhu sound and is more commercial,” he said.
To be part of this, fans need to sign up on www. djlag.com and at midnight on Friday they will get a link to the three-track release from the DJ via WhatsApp.
The Umlilo hit-maker said fans who sign up for the EP will be the first to get exclusive links to future tracks.
UPBEAT: DJ Lag is abroad on tour but fans can sample his new EP on Friday.