Headphone Highlights

Nan Kolè: Gqom Special

60 minsFirst aired 29 Jun 2016This episode is unavailable. Why?
Tommaso Cassinis

The Gqom ambassador and apocalyptic ringleader of global club music tells the story of how a local scene took over the world.

DJ and label owner Nan Kolè is a natural-born musical activist. A long-time advocate of contemporary African music and trans-national cultural exchange, he has been running the Soupu Music label since 2010, amassing a wide roster of artists from all across Africa and Europe. As resident of the Afrodisia L’Afrique party, he’s well used to joining the dots between modern day rhythms between Johannesburg, Soweto, Accra, London, and Rome. But it’s perhaps his label Gqom Oh! that has garnered the most attention, as it shines a light on the emerging scene from Durban which takes its cues from the traditional bhenga dance and is characterised by slow house tempos, moody atmospherics, and of course some deep African rhythms. Nan Kolè (which translates as ‘bright man’ in Liberian, a nickname from his grand-mother-in-law) describes the Gqom style as “apocalyptic riot music”, reflecting South Africa’s strained history and acting as an intersection for kwaito, UK funky, grime, and hip-hop.


Interview by Aaron Gonsher
Engineered by Samuel Reinhard
Produced by Carmen Hofmann

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