Breaking out in musical style
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 email@example.com
BRAVE: Nakhane Touré is the singer of
– a gay love song