dj lag & shekhinah make gqom pop, on “anywhere we go”

May 28, 2019

There are a few reasons to stan DJ Lag, the widely proclaimed king of Durban’s Gqom sound. Among the loftiest has been his music’s constant hunger for new ideas and desire to engage the whole world, pushing Lag’s minimal beats to interact with smarties from London (jazz drummer Moses Boyd) or Brooklyn (flex producer Eric B). For his latest left-turn collaboration, the producer looked both closer to home and to the other end of the musical spectrum.

Lag’s newest single, “Anywhere We Go,” features Durban R&B songstress Shekhinah, whose Rose Gold was South Africa’s most streamed album of 2018. It is, for all intents and purposes, a grand populist afropolitan dance-floor smash, a potential crossover hit in the making, with a big-time Adidas-funded video to match. And one of the elements that makes it exhilarating is Lag’s conscious creative behavior behind it: an attempt to break new ground, but also be himself.  

He says, “I had to do something slow, not like the Gqom I’m used to making, because Shekhinah needed something that suited her. I also wanted to make sure that my sound was in there, so I listened to a lot of tracks that were more relaxed to inspire this one. I was hoping people who heard it would also feel relaxed, and see the more relaxed side of my music. I loved everything about her. Her voice, her lyrics, there are no Gqom producers that I know of who would work with Shekhinah. I wanted to be the first.”

This is why we keep watching his space —  and advise you to do the same.