Sam­ple DJ Lag’s new flavour gqom

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - MPILETSO MOTUMI

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. 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.

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