The History and Significance of Gqom Music in South Africa

The History and Significance of Gqom Music in South Africa

Gqom is a style of house music that originated in Durban, South Africa. It features dark and hypnotic bass-heavy beats, irregular kick drum patterns or broken beats and passionate Zulu chants.

The genre has quickly become a prominent presence on the local dance scene, particularly in Durban. Additionally, it represents an influential cultural phenomenon that has had an influential effect on black youth’s personal expression.




Gqom (or ‘drum’ in Zulu) is a Durban-born house genre that first emerged from townships in the early 2010s. It’s an experimental sound created by self-taught DJs using software like FL Studio to craft their own beats.

Gqom is often described as dark, hypnotic and minimal with heavy bass and irregular kick drum patterns. It differs from traditional house music with its broken beats, distorted vocals and repetitive lyrics that appear throughout the song.

DJ Lag, a Durban gqom pioneer and member of the Goon Club Allstars label, states that this music is heavily influenced by African indigenous tastes. Initially only heard around Durban, it has now spread beyond its hometown to major South African cities.

Distruction Boyz, composed of Thobani ‘Que’ Mgobhozi and Zipho ‘Goldmax’ Mthembu from Durban, are widely regarded as the genre’s breakthrough producers. Their global hit single ‘Omunye’ (which they produced as Babes Wodumo’s producer on her song ‘Wololo’) marked a shift away from gritty underground sound into more commercial, radio-friendly pop style music.


Cultural Significance


Music has long been used around the world as a way to commemorate and reflect a country’s cultural heritage. In South Africa, it has played an essential role in uniting citizens. It serves to symbolize freedom, unity and perseverance – values which continue to shape this vibrant nation.

Gqom, an electronic dance music genre, is rapidly gaining traction in South Africa due to its fast and energetic beats and connection to the digital world.

This genre blends fast beats and menacing synth sounds with traditional African drumming styles. It was largely developed in the townships surrounding Durban, South Africa.

Africa-inspired dance music has been increasingly combining African indigenous tastes with international dance music in recent years, leading to an explosion in its popularity among DJs worldwide.

Many artists in this genre are reviving the traditions of Khoi and San people, indigenous to Southern Africa. These ancient tribes were renowned for their rituals and ceremonies, as well as chants and songs they sang in order to connect with their ancestors.




Gqom, a Durban-based dance music genre with elements of broken beat and chrome synth menace, has gained global appeal due to DJs incorporating it into their grime, house and bass sets.

Originating with a group of young producers in Durban’s townships, the music has since spread throughout South Africa and into neighboring cities as well as East London. Popular pop hits like Target & Ndile’s “Umthwalo Wami” and Babes Wodumo’s summer hit “Wololo” have gained significant airplay across South Africa.

House, dubstep and more have all influenced it to form this genre – which has its own distinct identity. It was mostly self-produced and has developed from dark abrasive sounds inspired by kwaito into something more commercial and danceable.


Music Download Sites


Gqom music has rapidly gained momentum in South Africa over the last decade, beginning as a phenomenon from Durban’s townships and now drawing fans from all corners of South Africa and beyond.

Thanks to WhatsApp groups and file-sharing websites, gqom has become more accessible than ever before. DJs and label owners from outside Africa have joined in on the fun, helping spread its sound around the world.

Tubidy is an established music and video download site, providing users with access to millions of songs in high-quality audio downloads and streams.

Mp3 Juice is a free and user-friendly service that makes it easy for anyone to discover and download their favorite music. Plus, users can safely download songs without fear of downloading malicious software or viruses.

Elizabeth Barton
Elizabeth Barton
Elizabeth Barton is a writer and digital marketer with over 10 years of experience. I'm passionate about using my skills to help people learn and grow. My blog, The News Columnist, covers a variety of topics, including Business, Finance, and technology and many more. I'm also a regular contributor to several online publications.
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