SA artist a cut above the rest on New York Times list

Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - WEEK­END ARGUS REPORTER

SOUTH African nov­el­ist, mu­si­cian and ac­tor Nakhane Toure has cracked the New York Times list of 10 artists to watch in 2019.

The 30-year-old’s ca­reer was high­lighted by the re­spected US news­pa­per when it pub­lished the list on Fri­day.

The ac­knowl­edge­ment ap­peared with Toure’s mu­sic video for his song In­ter­loper.

New York Times mu­sic critic Jon Pare­les wrote of the new al­bum, You Will Not Die, that the songs “delve into both trauma and re­demp­tion”.

“They pon­der faith, plea­sure, ex­ile and be­long­ing; they tra­verse hymns, neo-soul, South African pop and elec­tronic dance mu­sic, and Nakhane’s voice crests in a vi­brant, an­drog­y­nous falsetto.”

This is among a string of suc­cesses for Toure, who has lived in Port El­iz­abeth and Joburg.

Last year, Toure was in­ter­viewed by Sir El­ton John for John’s ra­dio show on Ap­ple Mu­sic’s Beats 1 Ra­dio. John had pre­vi­ously played Toure’s mu­sic on his pro­gramme.

Dur­ing the in­ter­view, Toure spoke about be­ing a black, gay man in South Africa and said: “As much as our con­sti­tu­tion in South Africa is re­ally lib­eral, the real world is a dif­fer­ent place some­times. I’ve had to kick down some doors.”

He starred in the film Inxeba – The Wound, which was re­leased Early last year.

The film was banned in South Africa when the Film and Pub­li­ca­tion Board’s Ap­peals Tri­bunal re­clas­si­fied it from 16LS to X18, the same clas­si­fi­ca­tion as pornog­ra­phy.

Later, the X was re­moved and the film re­turned to cin­e­mas. It is now avail­able on the stream­ing ser­vice Show­max.

The film gar­nered much crit­i­cism at home for its de­pic­tions of Xhosa ini­ti­a­tion rit­u­als and its gay love story.

Toure told Week­end Argus last year that he re­ceived ho­mo­pho­bic mes­sages daily.

“The banning just made no sense to me. I sat there gob­s­macked that we have en­tered into this fas­cist and ho­mo­pho­bic realm. Are we so ho­mo­pho­bic that we are go­ing to say the only place you can ex­ist is in porn?”

In 2015, he re­leased his novel Piggy Boy’s

Blues.

NAKHANE TOURE

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