Emily Dust visits Durban, South Africa, home of the sparse, dark, hypnotic genre 'gqom'.
Gqom, pronounced with a Zulu click at the beginning, roughly translates as the sound of a kick drum being struck. It’s also the name of a sparse, dark, hypnotic genre of electronic music. Made in the townships of Durban, South Africa, on basic software and distributed via taxi drivers, over the last few years gqom has caught the ears of DJs and ravers in some of the coolest clubs in Berlin, New York and London.
Emily Dust, a London-based DJ who fell in love with gqom at first listen, travels to Durban to meet the artists who created it and who are taking it forward, including Naked Boys, DJ Lag, Griffit Vigo and Distruction Boyz.
Initially dismissed by some of South Africa’s musical gatekeepers, today gqom artists have toured the world and conquered the airwaves at home. Gqom’s global success is inspiring the next generation of Durban producers to push the sound in new directions, both commercially and at the cutting edge of underground music.
(Photo: Gqom artists TLC Fam with Emily Dust.)