He’s a new star on the global stage, but in his native South Africa, Nakhane is an LGBTQ trailblazer with a startling voice, in more ways than one.
Nakhane grew up in a deeply religious community in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. In his early 20s, he came out and made the decision to leave the Christian faith. After taking a huge leap towards accepting his true self, he felt something of a void that had once been filled by prayer. It’s here that his love of music stepped in.
His album You Will Not Die (2018) documents a turbulent adolescence spent wrestling with sexuality and Christianity, and it is delivered with heart-stopping fragility.
With unwavering, soulful vocals and emphatic music in the vein of Perfume Genius, Nakhane sings of a journey to self-acceptance via sweeping strings, 80s synths, mbira-style percussion and the eventual rejection of his religious beliefs.
The electronic elements are a recent addition after years as an acoustic singer-songwriter in Johannesburg. But after making a club hit with house DJ Black Coffee (”We Dance Again”) in 2015 and becoming disillusioned with the folk scene, he ditched the twiddly guitars for strutting glam and electro flourishes.
When not wowing the music world, Nakhane works as a novelist (his debut novel Piggy Boy’s Blues was published in 2015) and he has received international recognition for his role in the film Inxeba (The Wound) from 2017. His talents cover a lot of ground!
Look forward to catching Nakhane live at Roskilde Festival 2019. On stage he is joined by two other musicians, handlings drums, guitars and keys. They will soothe your soul with empowering sounds!