Music

The 8 Best South African Songs of the Month (February)

Featuring Nasty C, Blxckie, Makhadzi, DBN Gogo, and more.

Here are the South African songs and music videos that caught our attention in the month of February.

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Interview

Come Meet DJ Lag, the King of Gqom

After a decade making waves in electronic music, the Gqom pioneer finally released his blockbuster debut album. He speaks to OkayAfrica about his early life, the album's inspirations and creation, and the possibilities for South African music.

If Gqom were a big house, there’s one man you’d find at its center: Lwazi Asanda Gwala. Known as DJ Lag, the Durban-born polymath is Gqom royalty, responsible more than anyone for taking its hypnotic sound international. Over the past decade, he’s brought the dark South African electronic genre to prestigious festivals and venues across the world.

After three solo EPs, DJ Lag’s debut album, the anticipated Meeting With The King, is finally out. The fourteen-track project demonstrates Lag’s mastery of Gqom, building immersive experiences from simple, hard-hitting kicks, claps and a 125-127BPM beat. Between collaborating with genre-pushing artists and sampling woozy elements of Amapiano, DJ Lag’s vision is recognizably collaborative.

One evening in late January, the 27-year-old veteran spoke to OkayAfrica from his Durban home, surrounded by instruments. Enjoying some well-earned rest, his smile fills the screen, his taut skin resplendent. Most of his projects, he says, were created on the road: on planes and airports, backstage at concerts, inside cars and rented apartments. Then in early 2020 the pandemic broke out and like many artists, he took the chance to create this album, inspired by the familiar allure of being in South Africa and surrounded by family and friends.

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Bongeziwe Mabandla's Single 'Ndiyakuthanda' Gets a House Remix By DJ Lag

Internationally acclaimed gqom producer DJ Lag has remixed 'Ndiyakuthanda' by soul musician Bongeziwe Mabandla and it's a must-listen.

Apple Music's Isgubhu Offers a Distinctive Home for Africa's Dance and Electro Music

Apple Music has launched a new music platform Isgubhu for Africa's dance music including amapiano, gqom, kwaito and other popular subgenres.

SAMAs (Finally) Recognise Gqom and Amapiano as Separate Categories

The South African Music Awards (SAMAs) have announced that gqom and amapiano will be officially recognised as standalone music categories at the 2021 instalment of the awards show.

Interview: DJ Lag is Firm on Taking Gqom To The Rest of the World

With a continual interest in gqom by the West, one of its pioneers, DJ Lag, believes the genre will only get bigger and he hopes to win a Grammy for his upcoming album.

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will.i.am Apologises for Plagiarising DJ Lag's Beats on 'Culture' Song

American producer will.i.am has apologised for plagiarising DJ Lag's beats on Megan Ryte's single 'Culture'. DJ Lag has refused to acknowledge the apology.