Watch: Woza Taxi, a documentary on Gqom
The Woza Taxi documentary on the Gqom movement in Durban is a satisfying look at a South African township born genre that is growing in both relevance and style.
The documentary is named after the taxis that drive people around Durban playing Gqom in order to attract passengers. Specifically the taxis available for hire to young people who go out and party in groups.
“It’s the way we attract people to the taxis here in South Beach. If you’re blasting Gqom people will be attracted to your taxi because they like your music. That’s how it works, especially in South Beach and in the central part of the city.” Said a Taxi driver
Not produced by South Africans
The Woza Taxi film was produced by the Italian Gqom Oh! Label and Rome based radio station Crudo Volta. It is telling that it took a group of pioneering Italians to tap into Gqom and tell its story in this way.
While South Africa hasn’t seemingly quite woken up yet to the true potential of Gqom, this underground scene continues to thrive and inspire.
The purity and freshness behind the producers interviewed in this film is the stuff that movements are made of. These young dudes are working with Fruity Loops, in a shed, with an old pc, and some headphones.
“Music is not about equipment, it’s about the creation in your head.” Says one of the producers
They also enjoy and prefer working together in order to harness their collective potential…
“When I saw that my friends are in love with the beats, sound, and stuff I began to you know connect more with them and whoever they knew. It became a whole flow connection where we all decided we can all create beats and work together.”
Drugs, music, culture…
The Woza Taxi film also touches on the various street names for party drugs like MDMA and how this ties in with the scene. The conservative local stance views anything associated with drugs as something to steer clear from. This is offered as another reason why Gqom may be judged as music that is too severe or hardcore for local radio.
Most of all, what you get from the film is that Gqom is the pulse of the township.
“Gqom is inside of you from when you’re young to when you’re old if you’ve grown up in the township it’s all about Gqom especially in Durban. It makes you feel better.”
Check out the film below: