Premiere: Emo Kid Explains South African Club Sound 'Sghubu', Shares New Track "Asbambeki"

Get to know.

Emo Kid
Image via Publicist
Emo Kid

By now I think we're all pretty familiar with gqom, the South African club sound driven by spacious arrangements, thundering low ends and frenetic rhythms. But it's not the only exciting club sound to emanate from Durban and the rest of SA; Sghubu is the latest style to shake the walls of the city and it's typified by the same low end funk that attracted people to gqom. Sghubu incorporates big, trancey synths and uplifting melodies and it's at least as wild as gqom. In fact, as you'll soon find out, despite their differences there's a lot of common ground between the two styles.

And, just like gqom, sghubu already has a big following and plenty of pioneering producers and MCs pushing the sound into exciting new vistas. We caught up with Emo Kid, one of the leading lights of sghubu to get caught up with this increasingly popular club movement. The rising producer has a new project out soon, the Gqomtera​ EP, and we've got one of the eight-track release's many highlights to share with you.

Dive into our Q&A with Emo Kid below while you take in his heart-racing new banger "Asbambeki".

Talk us through Sghubu and how it differs from gqom.

I personally think that Sgubhu is the evolution on gqom. I say that because it uses the same elements we usually use to make gqom, but the only thing that differs is the kick pattern—with Sgubhu, the kick is always 4-beat like house music, but with gqom the kick pattern will always surprise you. The reason a lot of gqom producers started making Sgubhu was because it sounded more radio-friendly and because gqom wasn't getting any recognition. It was always slammed, but never on the radio. 

Tell us a bit about this record and what your inspirations where when you made it?

This EP is like the combination or collection of the styles that are currently prospering here in Durban. It's inspired by the Durban underground and my aim was to add more music, more melodies to the gqom sound—I just felt like that was missing and, for me, melodies are the most important part about creating music. I feel like this record will take you on a journey through what's going on musically in Durban.

We've been hearing a lot about Durban and its artists lately. What is it about Durban that has made it such a great city to find new talent?

I think Durban has always been gifted, musically, because throughout the years it has always came up with different styles and it has always dominated when it came to dance music in South Africa. There's so much talent down here and it's amazing sometimes because it's so hard for people to make it here in Durban. But I think the struggle is what inspires the city to bring through such talented artists.

And finally, what are your plans for the future?

My plans for the future are to keep blessing the people with new music, to travel the world spreading the sound of Durban, gqom, and to hopefully to make some money in the process so I can take good care of my family. 

Latest in Music