DJ Lag. Picture: Instagram

Known for his contribution to gqom music and his new single, "Anywhere We Go" with Shekhinah, DJ Lag is on his way to the annual Sónar Festival in Barcelona, Spain, which will be held from July 18-20.

We spoke to him:

How did your involvement in Sónar come about?

I’ve always wanted to play at the Sónar Festival since my career started. I think they heard about me through the shows I’ve been doing. They reached out to my team and made it happen that way.

Why did you say yes to being a part of this festival?
It’s a festival I’ve dreamt of playing for a long time, it was on my bucket list. So when the opportunity arose I couldn’t say no! It’s really a dream of mine. The lineups are always fire... since the beginning they’ve had the biggest acts on their stages, like Kraftwerk and Richie Hawtin and people like Bjork and Diplo who have entire cultures that were created around them. 

It’s an honour to have made it be amongst those guys.

There seems to be a demand for South African performers in Europe. Why do you think that is?
The rest of the world is looking at us as Africans for influence. If you’ve noticed in places like Europe and America, the African people who live in those areas are embracing their own culture rather than looking to be like the others, and so the world is looking at us for new artists and our new sounds, and we are being slowly accepted on a world stage as artists, which is amazing.

Will you adjust your performance for the international audience or keep it African?
Those international audiences want to hear authentic Gqom, so I try not to overthink shows, especially overseas. But I do think of new sounds and music I want to introduce to the audience wherever I go. I’ve played in Europe for a few years and they are very open to new sounds, so that’s what I’m looking to do. 

You will be performing at the SonarDôme. What are you looking forward to the most?
Just being on the stage representing my country. That, and what people will think of my next release with Okzharp. It’s called "Steam Rooms" and it’ll be fully out in mid-July.