Break­ing out in mu­si­cal style

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - GOODMUSIC - WENDYL MARTIN

NAKHANE Touré is one brave guy. He’s an East­ern Cape man des­tined to make waves in lo­cal mu­sic. He’s been de­scribed as sound­ing like Prince, but he has a lo­cal tint, not com­pro­mis­ing on his ac­cent or rhythm. He also caused a stir this year by de­but­ing what is said to be the first gay love song on main­stream South African ra­dio.

Touré, real name Nakhane Mahlakahlaka, has had a busy year. His love song, Christo­pher, dropped on to the 5FM playlist in April, stir­ring the air­waves with his lyrics for his male lover. He also starred in a mu­sic video for the sin­gle Fog from his de­but al­bum, Brave Con­fu­sion. Steam­ing his ca­reer along, he played a sought-af­ter Kirsten­bosch Sum­mer Con­cert last Sun­day and his first cor­po­rate gig on Thurs­day; a fash­ion launch for denim brand G-Star Raw here in Cape Town.

He Skyped with The Good Weekend from Joburg this week.

Watch­ing Fog on YouTube, you will see Touré from the torso up. As you hear his Prince-like falset­tos, a white liq­uid cov­ers him.

The song was picked to match a video con­cept by di­rec­tor Mark Mid­dlewick.

“We shot it in 27 takes, all in real time on one of the cold­est days in Joburg,” he says.

Christo­pher, though, is the song he is known for.

“Christo­pher was the last song I wrote and was a last-minute ad­di­tion to Brave Con­fu­sion. I never thought it would be a topic.”

He sings to his lover in the song, “What will I be with­out you?”

“It’s an im­por­tant song. Com­mer­cially, it has opened doors for me. Po­lit­i­cally, I un­der­stand why peo­ple are dum­founded. This has never been done be­fore. Queer artists in South Africa find it dif­fi­cult to come out. Pock­ets of South Africa are lib­eral. I don’t like the term ‘tol­er­ant’. I’m not a rash. I un­der­stand that Christo­pher is a big deal. I never thought it would be.”

So what does the Christo­pher in Christo­pher think about the song?

He says: “He loves it. I can only speak for my­self, though. It’s a pow­er­ful song… when I make a de­ci­sion to write about some­thing, it must strike a chord with me.”

He says there is a bib­li­cal un­der­tone to the whole al­bum.

My Jonathan ques­tions the re­la­tion­ship be­tween David and Jonathan in the Old Tes­ta­ment.

Touré dis­plays agility mov­ing from acous­tic gui­tar to elec­tric gui­tar over time.

“I started on acous­tic, elec­tric scared me. I wasn’t con­fi­dent enough for it. I like my mu­sic to be hush then loud.”

He does not see his mu­sic as folk.

“I’m more in­flu­enced by Marvin Gaye and Ra­dio­head… I can make a gui­tar sound like a pi­ano.”

He says Kirsten­bosch was his big­gest gig so far.

“I have a big­ger fol­low­ing in Joburg, so that was over­whelm­ing. It was re­ally great, it was a pos­i­tive gig… Peo­ple have fun at my gigs. You can have fun while cry­ing into it. I am emo­tional, too emo­tional.”

Nakhane Toure’s Brave Con­fu­sion is avail­able on iTunes and in CD stores. Fol­low him on Twit­ter: @Nakhane­toure Twit­ter: @WendylMartin


BRAVE: Nakhane Touré is the singer of

– a gay love song

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