The South African style emerged from Durban townships in a flurry of hard-hitting beats and hypnotic bassweight around the start of last decade, and became internationally revered, influencing producers from the UK to Japan and grabbing the attention of global stars like Beyoncé.
Read this next: Gqom is the explosive South African sound bursting into Europe
From the humble beginnings through its breakneck ascent, Griffit Vigo has been one of the most vital figures inspiring the development of the sound.
To mark the release, we spoke Griffit Vigo about gqom and get the full lowdown on his new EP, and the trailblazer curated a playlist of gqom classics. Check it out below.
How has it felt to see gqom develop into an international phenomenon?
It felt like we can do more than that, it gave hope for GQOM producers in townships.
What ideas did you bring into your ‘Art Is Talking’ EP?
i) The idea is say art needs someone humble and creative.
ii) It explains from each every sound how you are telling your own self throughout the universe.
Art itself does hit its creator, like when you bang a thief from your home using an 'Ipani' (pan), life can do that too.
It gets fixed through inspiration or creativity, cutting off some things that made you not even try to be creative like 'Bush Makheninkha' (grass/bushes/forest cleaner).
Remember, the music industry can cut your own life through depression. I don’t want to go in full detail… just listen to it: 'Wave Frequency'. Not only to hear and remember the rhythm, but understand the sound pattern of journey.
Can you tell us about your playlist?
What I’ve selected on this playlist is people who have always been doing the original GQOM sounds. Only the few who are still making an effort to be more creative than ever. Art is so important in such a way that you have got to be loyal. It engages your soul in the spiritual world of reality.
You know as artistic audiences, we listen to understand after we’ve been misunderstood by people who love and listen to music just for fun. Sometimes it can feel depressing, heartless or hurtful. Things like these tend to become spiritual after they’ve gone through all of the suffering.
Hope you enjoy my Spotify playlist selection to understand, why?!
'Art is Talking' is out now via Maloca Records, get it here
Patrick Hinton is Mixmag's Digital Editor, follow him on Twitter