South Africa’s Nakhane will release his new album You Will Not Die on March 16 via BMG. An enchanting and emotionally charged collection, You Will Not Die is a captivating introduction to a truly unique voice in modern pop. Nakhane’s uplifting new single ‘Clairvoyant’ is available now and is accompanied by a stunning video, exploring the complexities and intricacies of love and lust. Watch now on YouTube.


Nakhane was born in Alice and grew up in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, in a deeply religious community. Though his upbringing ignited his love of music and unlocked his flair for performance, it also taught him guilt and shame that has proved difficult to rid himself of. “When I was Christian and prayed to God everyday, I had only hatred for myself,” Nakhane says.“Every day of my life, I was doing all I possibly could to be like everyone else, to be heterosexual. I was even convinced I would be able to ‘heal’ my homosexuality. I was living in constant fear; controlling myself at all times.”


In his early 20s, Nakhane came out and made the decision to renounce his Christian faith. Despite moving towards self-acceptance, Nakhane found an emptiness left in the silence that was normally filled by prayer. Having always found solace in music, Nakhane channeled both his pain and his newly found joy into his writing, and You Will Not Die is a startling document of the person he was, and the person he is now.


Of the single ‘Clairvoyant’, Nakhane says: “‘I was reading Jean Cocteau’s Les Enfants Terribles and there’s a line there that goes “love had made them clairvoyant” and I remember thinking “Jesus, love doesn’t make me clairvoyant - if anything I become more of an idiot when I’m in love”. I was looking around and most love songs were either fawning and sensational about how much they loved the person, or they were very biting about how much they couldn’t stand the other person. There seemed to be a lack of middle ground, how you can love somebody but you can also resent them. There’s a line “Love has not made me clairvoyant, all I know is how to be a servant’ but then the chorus is “I look to you” - nonetheless”.


You Will Not Dieis a diverse listen that reveals new charms on each listen. “I knew I wanted some electronic sounds. You hear a lot of artists forcing themselves to play acoustic-only to sound more ‘authentic’, but it doesn’t work,” Nakhane says. “The sounds of gay techno clubs rang much truer to me.” The record is underpinned by synthesizers while jumping back and forth between the piano and an guitar to uphold the songs’ pop structures. The final arrangements came together in London with the help of skilled producer and Bat For Lashes collaborator Ben Christophers.


You Will Not Die sees Nakhane balance beauty and pain throughout its eleven tracks. Whether it’s airy fragility of piano ballad ‘You Will Not Die’, the spiritual languor of ‘Presbyteria’ or the oppressive yet magically atmospheric ‘The Dead’. The communicative soul fervor of ‘Star Red’ is an homage to his grandmother (“A rebel to her religion, who was one of the first people to tell me to live my life how I saw fit”) while the album closes with the emotional, hymn-like ‘Teen Prayer’.


Nakhane’s debut album You Will Not Die is released March 16 via BMG and is available to pre-order now.. He will play a London headline show on March 20 at Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen. Tickets are available at 10am on Wednesday January 23

Clementine Bunel

Rob Challice
Rob Assisted by: Laura Wenborn