What do you get when you mix iLog Drum, Groove, & Uthayela? You get the pioneer of gqom, Lwazi, popularly known around the globe as DJ Lag.
Growing up in Claremont, KZN, who knew that 26 year old DJ Lag would one day work with Global Superstars such as Beyoncé? DJ Lag did. From getting access to a music software FL Studio (Frooty Loops) and creating a distinct sound that shook the world by its core, DJ Lag has transcended from a Producer that created beats in his room to now dominating and pioneering the gqom sound.
Sitting down with DJ Lag for the first time felt like a moment that was serene, intertwined with an influx of wisdom and tons of laughter. Known as uLwazi by those closest to him, we start the interview by getting to know the man behind ‘Ice Drop’ a song that had the whole world dancing to the sound of gqom, the song that catapulted him from a KZN born producer to a global music sensation.
“I released Ice Drop for free on music sites, the next day I woke up, and the whole of KZN was dancing to it, fast forward to a month later, the whole world was dancing to it.” ‘Ice Drop’ was the career defining song that DJ Lag created, when touching on whether he knew that song would change his life, his response was simple, “I create music for people, I just wanted people to enjoy the song, and have fun with it”. We fast forward to 2016 at the age of 21, DJ Lag made his live global debut in Poland and Seoul. Since then, he’s performed in the USA and Europe, and has pioneered the gqom sound by collaborating with artists such as Diplo, Benji B, Tiwa Savage, Busiswa and of course, Beyoncé.
Global Artist, Producer, Event Curator and so much more, but what’s behind all these accolades? When asked about his love life, DJ Lag definitely blushed throughout the entire conversation. “I don’t know how to court a lady like they do in the movies, I approach the lady and ask to speak to her, if she agrees, I let her know what my intentions are and before you know it, we’re dating”. One can’t help but be captured by his humble nature, I mean, I had to brag for him! He’s a son, a friend, a brother, “that’s all there is to me genuinely, and of course, I make music, purely because I love it. That’s who DJ Lag is”.
Meeting with The King is the perfect title for DJ Lags’ debut album that drops today! The record is accompanied by the lead single ‘Ikhehla’ ft. Babes Wodumo. DJ Lag’s first full-length record keeps faithful to the idea of experimentation in the underground on a thrilling set of new songs. It builds off DJ Lag’s signature darker style but sees the producer reveal a slower, sexier sound on songs like “Ikhehla” featuring Babes Wodumo which, in keeping with Lag’s uncanny ability to capture the life of the city he lives in, feels the soundtrack to the after-party of the after-party on a steamy hot Durban night.
Meeting With The King is special – DJ Lag finds a deep connection with amapiano, afro house and afro tech. The result is unmistakably DJ Lag’s sound signature but this time excavating new ground to create a fusion that makes a persuasive case, in particular, for gqom and amapiano as sonic siblings in delivering high energy music for the dancefloor. And not just dance floors in South Africa and across the continent: “I got to make this album exactly the way I wanted to” – What’s clear is that Meeting with The King is the most compelling example of a musical pioneer going back to his roots as a way of creating nothing less than the future sound of the world.