feature: nakhane toure’s mesmerizing sound

May 7, 2014

With a sound reminiscent of grunge, soulful overtones and funk backdrops, South African singer-songwriter Nakhane Toure has the right recipe to serve music goodness. Born Nakhane Mahlakahlaka, his artistic name was chosen in reverence to Ali Farka Touré, a Malian singer and multi-instrumentalist, and one of the African continent’s most internationally renowned musicians. His music influences span from African indigenous sounds and indie rock. With other musical influences such as Radiohead and Bjork, his foundation for great music is definitely solid. Once facing homelessness but fortunate enough to have friends whom couches he could crash on all while writing his album, he had no idea what his nomadic sofa life would bring him but he was determined to do something he believed in: making music.

By Queen, AFROPUNK Contributor *

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Toure is pretty soft spoken but has a powerful voice that glides out of his mouth, and effortless guitar riffs, which stands out in a track called ‘Christopher’ off his debut album Brave Confusion released in 2013. He has also done covers of The Cure’s ‘Just Like Heaven’ and a parody rendition of Radiohead’s ‘Optimistic’. He’s also graced the cover of Rolling Stone South Africa, a very big feat for a new recording artist.
Despite social pressure for him to remain closeted, 26-year-old Toure has decided to be open about his sexuality. “My work is an extension of who I am, no censorship allowed”. This was his response to being an openly gay musical artist to He’s a black Christian gay male singing love songs, openly to men in an environment that isn’t totally welcoming to the gay community. An act that is very commendable and brave. His lyrics are very personal and have a biblical tone – they address the Bible’s appeal and clash with love and sexuality. According to Toure, “The Bible is sexy… there is so much to draw from and exploit”. He’s definitely an artist to watch; his great falsetto that can swiftly change to a strong tenor is a great on the ear! Check out his live performance of ‘Christopher’ below, and also the video to his latest single ‘In the Dark Room’.

You can buy Nathane Toure’s music here.

* Queen’s blog: – Twitter @TheQueenspeaks_ – Instagram @TheQueenSPeaks