Nan Kolè has been a prime maker of the transnational scope of the Durban bred sound of Gqom; a genre which, before his label Gqom! Records hit the scene, was mainly isolated South Africa
An artist in his own right, though claims not to make Gqom himself, Kolè provides us with an exclusive production mix, laying out his recent creations in what is one of the one cohesive yet dynamic blends of music we’ve pushed out this year. Keep you ear to the ground for the release of some of the heat inside this mix. For now, we dig a little deeper…
What inspired you to create this mix?
This mix was coming from a need to express myself and find a musical identity outside of Gqom. For the last 4 years, I’ve basically been listening and playing only Gqom. It was and still is very difficult for me to mix Gqom with other genres so I started to produce something that could fit in my Gqom sets, but in this process, I realised that I found my own kind of style and aesthetic, and of course, it is not Gqom.
You’ve been fundamental to bringing the Gqom scene and sound out of Durban and to the rest of the globe through your label, GqomOh! Records. What started you on this path?
I got addicted so quickly to the Gqom sound when I first discovered it around 2014. I realised how unique, original and refreshing the Gqom sound was despite the fact that it was criticised in the South African scene and other scenes because it didn’t fit their “standards” in terms of mastering and bit rate or other aspects.
I also realised how powerful it could be on the dance floor and especially how Gqom could refill and refresh the electronic dance music scene on a global scale. This is the reason why I started Gqom Oh! Records.
How has your sound evolved over the last few years since creating Gqom tracks?
I don’t personally think I ever created or released any Gqom track, I know sometimes it can be confused but this is the reason why, for instance, on my release on Black Acre there are two Gqom remixes from Citizen Boy and Formation Boyz, and it was really to let the listeners understand the differences between my sound and a Gqom sound from Durban.
I think my productions are evolving more towards an electronic techno or house approach but still with a dark Gqom vibe; psychedelic, repetitive patterns and chopped vocals, warm grooves and experimental in terms of arrangements and sound palettes.
After releasing this ep/album (tracks inside this mix), I’ve got a few single tracks featured by artists that I really love as Scratcha DVA, Elheist and Jakhal Beeley plus an ep with Dj Tess. But I’m really looking forward to launching my side project with a new alias around October. It’s going to be quite secretive; aesthetically and conceptually it’s going to be far from Nan Kolè and I’m really doing that for the love of making music, to push my boundaries in discovering new BPMs or sounds that I haven’t used before. I have a need to free myself from the rules of the music industry and music marketing.
Nan kolè – jacon shaman aquinra
Nan kolè – 4 2 the floor
Nan kolè – Onanya
Nan kolè – Malumzi nella casa pt.2
Nan kolè – Day and Night feat. Potè
Nan kolè – 72
Nan kolè – Off
Nan kolè X Dj Tess – Roslyn Family
Nan Kolè – Eddaje
Potè – Model (Nan Kolè Remix)
Nan Kolè – Malumzi nella casa pt.3
Nan Kolè – Azazel
Nan Kolè x Hagan – Horizon
Nan Kolè – Dlala Malumz
Nan Kolè – Healer
Nan Kolè x Scratchclart – Amnesia
Nan Kolè – Cura