DJ Lag has cemented his name in the music industry
The 2020 Grammy Awards, an opportunity to work with Beyoncé and playing music alongside world-renowned DJ Diplo, is just a portion of what one young man from KwaZulu-Natal has achieved.
Gqom producer, Lwazi "DJ Lag" Gwala has cemented his name in the music industry.
The 24-year-old started off as a dancer before making a successful career out of producing.
He then went on to play at several major South African events, including the 2015 Johannesburg leg of Boiler Room and the 2016 Cape Town Electronic Music Festival.
"I was a dancer while at school, then started playing with beats. I was trying to make a track that sounded like Culoe De Song and ended up with a Gqom beat," he said.
One of the DJ's biggest challenges is social media. While he said he felt like social media can help to exhilarate one's career, it also allows for poor quality of work.
"I think a strength and a challenge is the power of social media. Everyone can have a direct voice and address their fans, at the same time that means there is a lot of content available all the time and the quality standard is not always good," said DJ Lag who looks up to artists like Kelela and FKA Twigs.
"I draw inspiration from women artists like Kelela and FKA Twigs who are so unique, DJ Snake who is a real entertainer, Tyler the Creator who only plays by his own rules. Locally obviously Black Coffee who has created a massive legacy and raised the bar on what is possible for artists coming from RSA," he said.
Some of his major achievements include being nominated for a Grammy Award, collaborating with industry giants like DJ Diplo and being signed to huge labels.
"The industry is tough. I spend a lot of time with my son, my childhood friends and my family to stay grounded and focused. I am often travelling so I also spend a lot of time alone and making music. My advice to young people entering the music industry would be to be authentic, get to know your strengths and work with your weaknesses. Learn basics about the business of music early on and be involved in your career, don't hand it over," he said.