Nakhane Toure's musical journey

By Drum Digital
03 July 2014

WITH four SAMA nominations, including for Best New Artist, Nakhane Toure (26) has become a household name after the release of his first album, Brave Confusion.

With four SAMA nominations, including for Best New Artist, Nakhane Toure (26) has become a household name after the release of his first album, Brave Confusion. He speaks to DRUM about his journey and plans ahead.

You have literally become an overnight sensation, how does it feel?

In a way, I’m actually in awe as to how this album has opened all these doors for me. When we initially did the album at my record label, Just Music, we weren’t anticipating what it has become.

Why is that?

It’s because I just recorded the music from an authentic place, so I was doing it for the passion and it paid off in a big way.

Nakhane Toure Nakhane Toure

Definitely! It even got you four SAMA nominations, how did that feel?

Surreal. I was so humbled just to be there and nominated alongside MuzArt, iFani, Naima K and Gangs of Ballet, who I respect and admire. It was great!

You didn’t win any of those awards, but do the nominations put pressure on you now that people are watching?

Yes and no. Yes, because I want to be an artist who evolves so all the music I’m working on now has to be a growth from my last album because I don’t want to remain stagnant. No, because I know that for as long as I keep doing what feels right to me I will be okay as a person and an artist.

Speaking of doing what’s right for you, you’re openly gay. Was that a conscious decision to come out and weren’t you afraid of being discriminated against?

Being open about being gay wasn’t a decision per se –I’ve just never hidden it. I knew from my teens or even earlier, and those close to me have known. And I’ve never feared discrimination and so far I haven’t been discriminated against so it’s turned out fine.

Screen Shot 2014-07-02 at 3.32.05 PM Nakhane Toure' s album Brave Confusion.

So are you seeing someone at the moment?

Yes, I have a partner called Chris and we’re happy.

When did you know you wanted to be a singer?

When I was seven years old in the school choir. I was given a solo for a Christmas carol and when I did that song, I felt good. At that moment, I knew that I would want to do this for the rest of my life. I didn’t know how it would happen then, but I knew I had to do it.

 How did your parents feel about you getting into music?

They love it – they have always been supportive. I grew up in Port Elizabeth with my maternal grandmother and she always supported whatever I did. She and my aunt took care of me most of my life because my mother was away working.

What’s your dream for yourself now?

To continue making music that I love, to also write and inspire other young artists to push for their dreams.

 How hard was it to reach your dreams though?

Very hard! I’ve known from age seven that I wanted to sing. Then I moved to Joburg at 15 to try and make it, but many doors were closed in my face. I even worked in bookshops and in retail stores to pay the bills while chasing my passion. Only when I was 24 did I start seeing my dreams become a reality. That taught me never to give up.

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