DJ Lag’s superb production skills have played a big part in transforming Gqom, a sub-genre of house that began by soundtracking taxi trips around Durban, to an enviably innovative participant in the global scene
DJ Lag will be remembered as a pioneer who propelled the quintessentially Durban Gqom sound beyond the confines of the coastal city, straight into the capitals of the international electronic music industry. At first listen, it might not appear that Gqom’s minimalist, bass-heavy, foot-stomping sound would take Lwazi Asanda Gwala, better known as DJ Lag, from the Clermont township in Durban to commanding dancefloors in Europe and Asia. But DJ Lag’s superb production skills have played a big part in transforming a sub-genre of house – one that began by soundtracking taxi trips around Durban – to an enviably innovative participant in the global scene.
Since he first surfaced several years ago, DJ Lag has played several major South African events, including the 2015 Johannesburg leg of Boiler Room, and the 2016 Cape Town Electronic Music Festival. Following his Boiler Room Sessions in Johannesburg, The Fader wrote: “DJ LAG stepped up to the decks to show exactly why everyone’s going crazy for Gqom. The minimal house genre born from the coastal city of Durban is dark, heated, and easy to lose yourself in.”
At 21 he made his live global debut in the closing months of 2016, starting at the Unsound Festival in Poland and finishing up at Seoul’s Cake Shop nearly a month later. To date, he’s racked up healthy ratings at platforms such as MixMag, The Fader and IDM with his 2018 EP ‘Stampit’. He’s performed at Afropunk NYC and secured a residency at RinseFM; he has also embarked on his #GqomIsThePresent Tour, consisting of four parts that circled the globe twice over, among many other appearances, performances and happy occurrences. It’s a stunning rise for an artist just in his 20s… But DJ Lag’s ready to put in the work required for longevity to make sure Gqom takes its place in history.