Ten Tracks: Nan Kolé

We’ve all had those moments of revelation when experiencing a certain song or sound for the first time. ‘The Ten Tracks’ explores the musical history and influences behind the careers of some of the leading artists in the scene; The tracks that inspired them to be producers and Djs, and how others music shaped their style and genres.

We’ve been a keen follower of Nan Kolé since discovering the music of his lauded label, Gqom Oh! around 2 years ago. Since then, Kolé has forged a path for the sound of Durban, bringing through unheard talent from South Africa and shining a light on a genre which would have otherwise laid dormant.

A musical activist and advocate of contemporary African music, Kolé’s sheer passion for the sound and the people who create it has garnered him recognition across the globe and now has a non-stop touring schedule, showcasing the Gqom sound as far afield as Tokyo and South Korea.

Nan Kolé heads up a Gqom Oh! showcase at Stour Space for Clock Strikes 13 on Friday 28th October. He talks us through the mixes and tracks which have been pivotal to the creation of his label and career ahead of the show.

1. DJ KURSK (Viral Bass Rome) Mix

With this I wanted to remember Riccardo Petitti aka Dj Kursk. He was my master when it came to the art of DJing. He passed away two years ago.

He’s was a massive influence on the Italian electronic music scene in the late 90’s and the first decade of 2000. With him and Dj Pier, I shared the wonderful experience of Viral. We ran for Four seasons from 2007 and hosted loads of UK artists, from LD to Rusko, Silkie to Scratcha DVA. We were playing all the then current UK sounds… dubstep, grime, 2step. This is one of his last mixes. On the CD it said “Garage garage not mix.” It was 2010.

2. Ruff Sqwad – Xtra

I had a good collection of grime on vinyl back in Rome but I left them behind when I moved to London. This is my favourite from my collection. It came out on No Hats No Hoods records.
was 2010.

3. Breach – Fatherless

One of the most inspiring tracks for me. Ever.


4. Ehua – Listen

This is from an up-and-coming Italian producer. She’s originally from the Ivorian coast but is now based in London.


5. Mafia Boyz Guest Mix – Benji B BBC Radio 1

Listening to the mixes of the guys from Durban is really inspiring. It’s the best way to go deep into the original Gqom sound. I can see a bright future for this young crew.


6. DJ Lag – Zoo

He’s the Gqom King, great DJ, great producer.


7. Joyce ft DJ Tira – Thandekile

This is a South African hit, main stream pop music, but I’m so proud because the ghost producer of this beat is Emo Kid, one of the artist of my record label Gqom Oh!


8. Skales – Je Kan Mo

I have an addiction to Nigerian afrobeats. Skales is just one of dozens of Nigerian artists that I really feel. The beat on this one is heavy.


9. Fuzzy Logik – The Way You Move

Fuzzy Logik is a UK Funky king. I’ve been playing his tracks for years and it’s always a pleasure. I was and I’m still a big fan of UK Funky.


10. Babes Wodumo ft Mampintsha – Wololo

Durban’s Gqom is finally taking over South Africa as well as Europe. This track was produced by Distruction Boyz. Fans of the original Gqom from the township will know what we’re talking about.

This is now a hit in South Africa. She’s making an album which is already getting a lot of hype. It’s called the Gqom queen…


Published 3 years ago

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