There is no doubt that gqom is shaking things up in the electronic music world.
From its humble origins in Durban, South Africa, gqom’s slamming rhythms and raw droning energy have been adding some much needed bite to a sometimes static club music landscape.
But before asking how the sound of Durban came to win so many admirers overseas, it’s best to first see how it took over its native city. As the above documentary shows, the taxi industry’s fierce competition to win fares had a big part to play in its spread. By 2010, taxi drivers were already sussing on to the huge hold gqom had on Durban’s youth culture and realized it would be a major way to attract clients. They eventually pimped their rides, tweaked those sound systems, and before too long gqom’s intoxicating thump was spreading like a virus across the whole city.
To learn about how musicians are creating a contemporary East African sound, read on here.