South African duo FAKA debut daring and catchy new EP, Amaqhawe

“We were deeply inspired by gqom and that influenced a lot of elements, especially our storytelling style.”

South African duo FAKA debut daring and catchy new EP, <i>Amaqhawe</i> FAKA   Photo by Nick Widmer

FAKA is a South African music and performance art duo comprised of best friends Fela Gucci and Desire Marea. Their 2016 debut EP Bottoms Revenge combined hissing snares with psychedelic house influences. For their new EP, Amaqhawe, which is premiering below, they've taken inspiration from gqom, a genre that emerged out of Durban, South Africa, as a rawer and more minimalist interpretation of African house music.

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Amaqhawe is a daring and catchy exploration of love, identity, and romance woven through tongue clicks and drum beats. Taking cues from the various incarnations and interpretations of house music, the EP is as much of a celebration as it is a story. The closing track "Inhliziyo," which is Zulu for "heart," features layer upon layer of drums — reminiscent of one's chest after a night of dancing — alongside a twinkling tambourine and sneaky synthesizers.

"Making this was a new experience for us," said FAKA over email. "It was our first time collaborating with other minds on the production and it lead us to a space where we had more freedom to focus on the narrative of the EP. We were deeply inspired by gqom and that influenced a lot of elements, especially our storytelling style.”

Find out more about FAKA in this documentary by Mykki Blanco
South African duo FAKA debut daring and catchy new EP, Amaqhawe