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Gqom /ᶢǃʱòm/ (Igqomu)[pronunciation?] is a genre of electronic dance music that emerged in the early 2010s from Durban. It developed out of South African house music, kwaito and hip-hop. Unlike other South African electronic music, gqom is typified by minimal, raw and repetetive sound with heavy bass beats but without the four-on-the-flour rhythm pattern.
The word gqom - sometimes expressed as qgom, igqom, gqomu or variants thereof - derives from an onomatopoeic combination of click consonants in isiZulu and isiXhosa meaning a hitting drum. Gqom was developed by a young generation of technologically skilled DJs producing in D.I.Y. fashion with software such as FL Studio and often self distributing their music on file sharing platforms. Gqom music is associated with a number of distinctive dance moves, like the 'bhenga', 'vosho' or the 'gwara gwara'. From the mid-2010s the genre gained prominence abroad, especially in London, and its dance moves were adopted by famous musicians in the United States. Rihanna performed the 'gwara gwara' at the 2018 Grammy awards while Childish Gambino performs it in his video for 'This is America'.
Music connoisseurs who embraced the new sound included the likes of South African rapper Okmalumkoolkat, Italian record label Gqom Oh owner, Malumz Kole, Afrotainment record label owner DJ Tira, as well as music taste-maker and personal public relations liaison, Cherish LaLa Mankai. Related artists are DJ Lag, DJ Bongz, Lord The Dj, MasterT, Dj Noffoh, Dj Nkaa, Rudeboyz, Distruction Boyz & AudioBoyz.
- Oliver, Huw (2016-01-22). "Gqom, the foot-stomping new sound of South Africa's townships". The Guardian. Retrieved 2019-02-19.
- Le Gal, Anne (2016-08-09). "Gqom—The Sound from the Townships of South Africa". Indie Guides. Retrieved 2019-02-19.
- "History Of Gqom". CoreHiphop: Gqom Music News, New Afro-House Music. 2018-11-12. Retrieved 2018-11-12.
- Akyea, Akornefa (2018-07-19). "The Gqom Generation of Durban, South Africa". Afropop Worlwide. Retrieved 2019-02-19.
- Langa, Phumlani S. (2017-11-26). "Gqom: The rise of a subculture". City Press. Retrieved 2019-02-19.
- Cliff, Aimee (2015-06-05). "What the foq is gqom?". Dazed. Retrieved 2019-02-19.
- Zeeman, Kyle (2018-05-15). "Riri & Childish Gambino beware: DJ Bongz 'trademarked' the gwara gwara". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 2019-02-19.
- Weichenrieder, Philipp (19 April 2016). "Gqom-Musik aus Südafrika: Townships calling" – via www.taz.de.
- "Gqom: A deeper look at South Africa's new generation of house". FACT Magazine: Music News, New Music. 2016-01-05. Retrieved 2018-10-27.
- Future Sound of Mzansi (Part 1), 2014 film documentary by Spoek Mathambo and Lebogang Rasethaba featuring gqom.
- The Gqom Generation of Durban, South Africa (Afopop Worlwide podcast episode, 19 July 2018)
- Gqom music: Spreading from Durban to the world (5 minutes) (First aired 22 November 2018 on BBC World Service - Global Beats) **See Gqom for the full podcast (53 minutes)
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