Arts + Culture

City Guide: DJ Lag and Rudeboyz's Guide To Durban

Durban-based gqom impresarios DJ Lag & Rudeboyz give us the keys to their city, showing us the best spots for tunes, romance, food and more.

In our series City Guide, we ask our favorite musicians, actors, artists and celebrities what their go-to spots are in their hometown.

In this installment, gqom impresarios DJ Lag and Rudeboyz give us the keys to Durban, showing us the best spots for tunes, romance, food and more.

For more from them and the raw, electronic sound of Durban's underground scene, check out DJ Lag & Rudeboyz's Essential Gqom Playlist.

Best Place To Eat

DJ Lag: Tates Kasi Grill in Clermont—it's a braai spot, a shisa nyama. I like to go chill there on Sundays.

Rudeboyz: Spiga D'oro. It's Italian food in the heart of Durban, in the main party road.

Best Spot To Party

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Rudeboyz: Cubana Havana Lounge, it's where gqom was born. It's our spot from back in the days.

DJ Lag: Uhuru. Uhuru is the first place where I started DJing, I've been playing there a lot. That’s where DJ Lag got started.

Best Concert Venue

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DJ Lag: King's Park, that's all there is for the big events.

Rudeboyz: People's Park. Where they do big venues is where we look.

Best Place to Hangout With Friends

DJ Lag: My place. Because we're always making music there and ‘cause I have a nice big screen and a PlayStation. I like GTA and FIFA 2015—normally I play as Barcelona.

Rudeboyz: We hang out only to work. But we also work with our friends.

Best Studio

DJ Lag: My house and Sebubzi's place for recording—strictly using Fruity Loops.

Rudeboyz: It depends on the kind of project we're working on. Normally we prefer our studio.

Best Beach

DJ Lag: Virginia Beach. You can come with drinks and cooler boxes.

Rudeboyz: South Beach. It's got a good view, and it's where we meet with all of our friends. We go there when it's hot.

Best Date Spot

Rudeboyz: Gateway Mall. Walk around the mall and watch movies with your girl.

DJ Lag: Gateway Mall, especially to go to the movies.


A Candid Conversation With Olamide & Fireboy DML

We talk to the Nigerian stars about the hardest lessons they've learned, best advice they've ever been given and what Nigeria means to them.

Olamide and Fireboy DML have been working together for three years, but the first time they sit down to do an interview together is hours after they arrive in New York City on a promo tour.

It's Fireboy's first time in the Big Apple — and in the US — and the rain that's pouring outside his hotel doesn't hinder his gratitude. "It's such a relief to be here, it's long overdue," he tells OkayAfrica. "I was supposed to be here last year, but Covid stopped that. This is a time to reflect and refresh. It's a reset button for me."

Olamide looks on, smiling assuredly. Since signing Fireboy to his YBNL Nation label in 2018, he's watched the soulful young singer rise to become one of Nigeria's most talked-about artists — from his breakout single, "Jealous," to his debut album Laughter, Tears & Goosebumps, hit collabs with D.Smoke and Cuppy, and his sophomore release, Apollo, last year.

Even while he shares his own latest record, UY Scuti, with the world, Olamide nurtures Fireboy's career with as much care and attention as he does his own, oscillating between his two roles of artist and label exec seamlessly. His 2020 album Carpe Diem is the most streamed album ever by an African rap artist, according to Audiomack, hitting over 140 million streams. When Olamide signed a joint venture with US-based record label and distribution company, Empire, in February last year he did so through his label, bringing Fireboy and any other artist he decides to sign along for the ride, and establishing one of the most noteworthy deals on the continent.

Below, Olamide & Fireboy DML speak to OkayAfrica about their mutual admiration for each other, what makes them get up in the morning and how they switch off.

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