London / UK
(Gqom Oh!, Black Acre)
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 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. Gqom is clearly connecting the dots between genres on a wider scale- selling out every release and touring through Europe via Panorama Bar, Unsound Festival, Music Box and many more. With the stars aligning over Durban, the sky’s the limit for Nan Kole and the Gqom movement.