Nakhane Interview - Ornate and Full

After reviewing Nakhane’s new album You Will Not Die, we had a Q&A with him to discuss his influences, the themes behind his music and his progression as an artist.

Futuremag Music: Hi Nakhane, congratulations on your new album, it’s beautiful! There are so many genres blended together in this project, how did you find your vision for it?

Nakhane: A lot of how I wanted the album to sound started with me leaving the acoustic guitar behind. It was such a big part of my debut album and how that album was written. Choosing to write in a different manner helped me realise sounds that I had heard in my head, but could not produce with an acoustic guitar. I wanted something brighter, deeper, and fuller. I wanted to to make an album that was ornate and full of drama.

Futuremag Music: As a queer artist, how did you find inspiration in “gay techno” music? How does it merge with other aspects of your production?

Nakhane: I always used to read that electronic music was inorganic and sterile. I was never in agreement with that because I was going to clubs, or the electronic tent at festivals, and seeing people deriving so much feeling from that music.

It could have been the drugs they were taking, but somehow it looked like the people consuming electronic music were really there to be swept away by the music instead of the person behind the guitar.

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Futuremag Music: Who are some artists that inspire you the most with their music?

Nakhane: I have too many favourites, but here’s a list of artists that are on repeat at the moment:

Yves Tumor, Busi Mhlongo, Anohni, George Michael, Joni Mitchell, Miles Davis, Brenda Fassie, Miriam Makeba, Aldous Harding, Arca, Beach House

Futuremag Music: There’s really cool distortion at the end of ‘All Along’, and plenty of exciting retro elements to tracks on the album. Are there any elements in particular that you would like to explore deeper in the future?

Nakhane: At the moment I’m interested in repetition and melody. How those two elements marry each other, and how sometimes they really need to get divorced. That’s what I’m exploring in the songs I’m writing at the moment.

Futuremag Music: You have discussed in the past that making music is a cathartic activity for you. How has You Will Not Die helped you?

Nakhane: It’s the purge, isn’t it? There is something cleansing in writing about something. But then you dirty yourself again every night by singing the songs for audiences. It’s back and forth.

Futuremag Music: If ‘Nakhane’ was a cocktail, what would be in it to best describe yourself and your music?

Nakhane: It wouldn’t be a cocktail, but the richest red wine in a church during communion.

Futuremag Music: You Will Not Die is an inspiring and phenomenal album. Thank you so much for your time.

Nakhane: Thank you very much.

Sean Tayler