Like many other indie acts whose music leans a little to alternative for SA’s mainstream audience, Nakhane is not often seen in the music scene on our shores.
Following a three-year hiatus forced on him by the pandemic, the multi-talented artist will be breaking the long interval with a performance at the Bassline Fest with his “I AM LIVE” evening
You’ve not had an in-person performance in the last three years and to break that you’re bringing it home, why was it important to do this at Bassline Fest?
I am who I am today because of where I come from. Your background informs just about everything about your life. I remember watching a short Busi Mhlongo documentary and I realised it was where she launched the album Urban Zulu.
Why such an on-the-nose name for the tour? And how did you come to it?
I haven’t played in so long and I really love singing for people. I really love performing on stage and I know there are others who dread going on stage but I miss it. One thing that killed me about the pandemic was not being able to perform. I am most well when I perform live because I am most present and in the moment.
What was it like not getting to express yourself live during lockdown?
It was awful, terrible! At first I thought I could use the time to learn new skills or get better at something and that did happen but it became terrible and sad and it was hard to look for a positive. But I was writing and reading – books were a life saver. Also sitting down and learning piano pieces that have nothing to do with my music.
You’ve been dropping a lot of hints towards a new album, will there be music from it at I AM LIVE?
…I definitely will play one or two songs from it.
What can we expect from the new album?
I just want to make a very percussive album. That’s how it came out and that’s how I started writing the songs. I would layer drums before I wrote a single note of music. It’s going to be an album with a lot of movement.
You’ll be celebrating 10 years since your debut album next year, are you going to celebrate this?
I definitely will personally but I don’t know if I will do something in the public domain. We’ll see. It’s not that necessarily like looking forward but I like being present, seeing and learning more now.
You have such a long gap between writing your first and second novel.
I actually wasn’t aware of the gaps until someone said it to me. Even with the albums, I never knew I was such a slow artist but I just like to make sure that it’s worthy of being out there in the world. I don’t want to release just because I can release.
What else can we expect from you this year?
Quite a lot but I’ve been working on a lot of classical music that I’m writin