DJ Lag sets his eyes on Grammys

DJ Lag. / SUPPLIED
DJ Lag. / SUPPLIED

Durban-born music pioneer DJ Lag has become the first gqom artist to submit his work for consideration for next year's Grammy Awards.

The 23-year-old star, real name Lwazi Gwala, from Clermont, has submitted his six-track EP Uhuru for eligibility in the Best World Music Album category.

Uhuru was released through renowned American producer Diplo's imprint label Good Enuff in August.

South African music groups have done well in the Best World Music Album award which was won by Soweto Gospel Choir this year and Ladysmith Black Mambazo last year.

"The 'World Music' I know doesn't sound anything like what we are doing, so maybe it's our job to teach people what it can be," DJ Lag said.

"Maybe if we think of it as music that can move the world instead, then it's okay. Because that's what gqom is," he said.

DJ Lag still has a long campaign to run until the five finalists are announced in the category when the Grammy nominations are unveiled on November 20. It's been a big year for DJ Lag who has produced songs for Moonchild, Kelela and Shekinah.

In June, he travelled to Los Angeles to produce My Power with Beyonce, Moonchild, Yemi Alade, Tierra Whack and Busiswa. The song appears on The Lion King: The Gift - the soundtrack for The Lion King remake.

It's was during the period that DJ Lag was invited to join the Grammy recording academy with about 14,000 members.

"A nomination for a Grammy means that I can continue to show the world where I come from, what my music means to me and my people. The dream is big, but so is the support of my community. It already feels like a win," he said.

Entries for the category are open to international music with "non-European, indigenous traditions" according to Grammy guidelines.

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