Gqom – the dark and unrelenting hybrid of South African kwaito and broken beat house – has gained tremendous popularity on blogs and in clubs around the world. Breakout stars, such as Rudeboyz, U-ZET, Julz da Deejay, and pioneers NakedBoys, are just a few of the hundreds of producers and DJs uploading their gqom mixes, remixes and original beats to file-sharing site Kasimp3, which gives artists opportunities to receive royalties based on advertising revenue.
Just two days ago, Italian label Gqom OH!, headed by DJ Nan Kolè, and his South African partner Lerato Phiri, released a full-length compilation “The Sound of Durban.” The project includes 12 mastered songs, a rarity since most producers don’t have the equipment or resources to fully mix their work, most often created in FL Studio.
American artist and musician Shawn Alchemi created “Mzansi Imagination,” to share music and art from all over SA. The group’s first foray into print is an eponymous zine, spotlighting gqom and includes interviews from many artists on the Gqom Oh! Compilation. Download and read the zine for free here (PDF, Google Drive). Big ups to Julz for sharing the zine, follow him on Soundcloud, Instagram and check his Kasimp3 page for exclusive tracks!