DJ Lag’s debut EP Uhuru solidifies SA’s spot in the global dance scene

DJ Lag’s first gig, in a small township club called Uhuru, is what he describes as the first time that the public heard gqom. 

Since then he has established himself as an international pioneer of the genre, using his South African upbringing as a musical backbone to change the course of township music to come. Coming off the back of his success on Disney’s latest live-action remake of The Lion King, for which his track “Power” was selected by Beyoncè, today he takes influence from the very club that launched him into his career, for the release of his debut EP “Uhuru”. 

DJ Lag moves boldly into his own with his latest release, and brings with him a power to renew the sub-house genre he calls, uThayela, meaning “corrugated iron”. This metal strength can literally be heard in the tracks, from the ringing of the synths, to the sampling choices and most significantly, the precisely “metallic” rhythms. 

The quality of his production is sweetly subtle, such that the arrangements flow easily and the processing of the vocals allows them to slip creatively between beats.

The EP also features an ensemble of emerging South African talent and renowned artists, from producer Diplo to long-time friend and collaborator, Moonchild Sanelly. It’s hopeful to see an album as multi-cultural and inclusive as this. DJ Lag, as well as uThayela, is giving freedom, pride and most importantly, a global voice to a new generation of young South Africans fighting for these very things, finding identity in the power of music.