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DJ Bigger Nzuza. Image courtesy of the artist.

How Bigger Nzuza Became the DJ For South Africa's Most Flamboyant Queer Duo

We talk to Bigger Nzuza about his work with FAKA, the self-proclaimed "aunties" of South Africa's queer music & art scene.

We can barely hear each other.

Bigger Nzuza has just come off stage from DJing a high-octane set at Seize The City for FAKA. We're standing at the relatively calmer bar area exchanging numbers. Our eventual chat takes place over FaceTime call and the Saturday afternoon din from the street outside my Braamfontein apartment makes it feel a lot like when we first met. It doesn't take me long to realise that wherever DJ Bigger Nzuza goes, sound follows.

"My mother had a house in Siyanda [a small township within the greater Kwamashu area in KwaZulu-Natal]. I would visit frequently," he remembers. "Whenever I would pass by DJ Deep's place, gqom would be playing, the house would be full and they would be DJing because they had a sound system."

DJ Deep, who passed away in 2010, proved to Bigger that music, and specifically DJing, could be a viable career option. For both Bigger and Deep, their childhood days were marked with intense religiosity. They were both churchgoers: Deep's father was a pastor and Bigger belonged to a family church. Bigger was also lead singer of a gospel choir and the leader of an isicathamiya group at school. "I'd say music was always my thing. I'm not sure if it's because I was naughty at school but there wasn't anything that had to do with music which I didn't want to participate in."

Gospel wasn't a strange genre to foray into. As far as gqom is concerned, that can be attributed to the environment he found himself in. But some may ask, how does a cis-heterosexual man from Kwamashu, KwaZulu-Natal end up DJing for FAKA, the self-proclaimed and peer sustained "aunties" of South Africa's queer music and art scene?

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Earl Sweatshirt in 'Nowhere, Nobody' (Youtube)

Earl Sweatshirt's 'Nowhere, Nobody' Short Film Tries to Figure Out His Legendary Father's Legacy

The influence of South African poet laureate Bra Willie on his U.S. rapper son is placed under a microscope.

At the beginning of this month a year ago, Thebe Kgositsile, better known as Earl Sweatshirt, lost his father, South African poet laureate Keorapetse Kgositsile. Still, at this time, his fans around the globe were becoming increasingly anxious for new music.

What followed ten months later was Some Rap Songs. Now, the internet's favourite rapper is augmenting his third album with a short film called Nowhere, Nobody.

The eight-minute film is written and directed by Random Acts of Flyness directors, Terence Nance and Naima Ramos-Chapman. Although it's based on music from Some Rap Songs, it's more of an art film than an extended music video. Nowhere, Nobody reflects the non sequitur skittishness of the album from which it borrows its music.

In all this, the central theme of idols and idolising remains consistent.

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