The phenomenal new talent, Nakhane Touré, is here to unpack the brave confusion of the black status quo.
For a new artist, we can already see he is going to be around for a very long time. He’s carving out his own musical niche inspired by authors he enjoys, sights from day-to-day life and musicians such as the legendary, Fela Kuti, Ali Farka Touré, Morrissey and Roadiohead. A musical gumbo of inspiration if there ever was one.
I must admit defeat once beaten by the odds. So allow me to say, I have failed you as a music blogger in that I’m just now about to leach on the words of Touré himself to describe exactly what you’ll find on his debut record. However, it is all with good reason. Not only does it eloquently describe, without giving away too much, what you will experience after pressing play but never have I heard anyone explain so poignantly the status quo of black South Africans in our new democracy.
My debut album is called, ‘Brave Confusion’. It’s taken from a phrase in a James Baldwin novel called, ‘Go Tell It On the Mountain’ where he is actually describing, the narrator is describing, these pieces, this photograph on a table and he says, “…and they were there in brave confusion.” And I thought it was such a good phrase to describe not only me but my music and what’s going on. And sort of like the black status quo.
I think we’re in a place that’s bravely confused because we can’t go back to pre-colonialism and we can’t completely forsake everything that’s happened afterwards. So we’re sort of stuck in this strange middle ground and I’m stuck in a strange middle ground. And so that’s what it is.
And that’s what it is. Listening to that, you have to take a moment to breathe. I had just been trying to process the epic, classic sounds of his debut EP, Brave Confusion and that statement came along during all that processing to punch me in the gut. It’s in the way he croons his explicitly personal sentiments. It’s about the way he takes the idea of virtuoso to a casual, digestible state. It’s the way he simply makes sense of complexity.
South Africa isn’t ready for this but this is far too bright a diamond to keep secret in the dust. This is, Nakhane Touré.