New York, NY (Top40 Charts)
Today, with the release of singles "Clairvoyant" and "Interloper," South Africa's Nakhane makes a thunderous first step into the United States, announcing the February 22nd release of deluxe album You Will Not Die (BMG). Across 18 subtle and soaring statements of experimental soul, electronic art pop, and queer anti-gospel, the record captures the heroic voice of an artist budding into an international icon.
Or watch his "irresistible boldness" (The Guardian) really come alive in the music video for each song - a visceral, shimmering romp for "Interloper" and a nude portrait of same-sex intimacy in the Jean Cocteau-inspired "Clairvoyant."
The courage, self-acceptance and love at the core of these two songs, and in fact all of You Will Not Die, are the products of the bold defiance that has ignited Nakhane's artistry across not only music, but film, literature, performance art, and more. At age 19, he came out as gay to his fundamentalist Christian church and Xhosa family, only to spend the next six years surrendering to the false belief he could pray away his "sinful" sexuality.
Ultimately, a dream came to him inspiring the creation of You Will Not Die and his decision to abandon the religion for a full embrace of his identity. He professes, "Suddenly, having forever lived in fear of divine punishment, I was certain I wasn't to die the next day, or even 10 years later. It was incredibly freeing. I decided to catch up on lost time, to finally live my life."
Aside from his own majestic interpretations of David
Bowie's "Sweet Thing
" and New Order's "Age Of Consent," Nakhane has written every song on the deluxe You Will Not Die, tapping ANOHNI for a vocal performance on "New Brighton" (plus South Africa's DJ Maphorisa on the track's remix), and Bat For Lashes
collaborator Ben Christophers for production across the album. The music has already found fans in Madonna, Perfume
Genius, Nile Rodgers, and Elton John, confronting the trauma of chronic depression and generalized anxiety ("Fog"), growing up without biological parents ("You Will Not Die"), returning home by way of a tarot card reader ("Teen Prayer"), and a series of unbelievable experiences to define resilience for a new generation.
In the past year, Nakhane earned support in the UK from The Guardian, Dazed, Crack, i-D, Noisey, GQ, and more. He's played three Afropunk festivals across the globe and made his UK TV debut on BBC's Later...With Jools Holland
- watch him perform "Clairvoyant" here: https://youtu.be/2CcxVVJi1tw
Both his debut novel Piggy Boy's Blues (2015) and role as lead actor in South Africa's 2018 Oscar-shortlisted film The Wound are stirring illustrations of homosexual relationships within the Xhosa community. Now based in London, Nakhane will be coming to the US in 2019, with more news to share soon.
You Will Not Die (Deluxe) Track List
You Will Not Die
By the Gullet
Clairvoyant (Radio Mix)
New Brighton (feat. ANOHNI)
Age of Consent
New Brighton (DJ Maphorisa Version)
Praise for Nakhane
"There's an irresistible boldness to the rising South African singer...an LGBTQ trailblazer with a startling voice, in more ways than one" - The Guardian
"A grand and stunning effort that touches down on queerness, desolation, and spirituality" - GQ (UK)
"Nakhane has leaped into nearby orbits and crafted the definitive, mind-bending, soul-flexing, power-skanking manuscript for generations to come" - Red Bull
"[Nakhane] is on the cutting edge of what is culturally innovative" - Afropunk
"Unlike anything you'll hear this year" - Q
"A visceral, soul-opening search for solace and self" - The Quietus