Nakhane Touré’s itching to make some noise. His acoustic guitar-strumming fingers are ready to shred some shrewd chords on the electric. He wants to scare sixteen year olds and piss off conservatives who use “authenticity” as a cubicle for their ignorance. He wants to forge forward, not so much a revolution, but a rebellion against any (pre-)conceptions of what his ‘sound’ is.
Nakhane’s ready for a change.
The immediate plan is to release an EP, Violent Measures. It’s a collection of songs which riff off of Frantz Fanon’s pages, using the seminal Afro-French thinker’s seminal essay Concerning Violence as a sparring partner. “The first song on the EP is called ‘Violent Measures.’ When I was listening to a demo version of the EP I realized that each song concerns itself – partially or wholly – with some act of violence. Whether it’s physical or psychological, it has many different facets – positive or negative. Some violence is good, some isn’t,” he says. Then, with a cheeky streak, adds: “You’ll just have to find out when you listen to the EP whether it is good or not!”
Before a live show at the Bannister Hotel in Braamfontein, Johannesburg recently — where he called kindred Eastern Cape spirit Bongeziwe Mabandla along for the ride — Nakhane set aside a few moments to break bread regarding the way forward. He was quick to clarify that the EP’s no less important than the album; that it serves as a bridge between Brave Confusion, the debut LP which won him a SAMA award in 2014, and his currently untitled sophomore release.
Describing Nakhane as a “SAMA Award-Winning” artist feels like a cop-out; like one is giving in to laziness and refusing to engage with the person by treading well-worn tropes instead of being the vessel through which the music, Nakhane’s music, reverberates. With Violent Measures, Nakhane seems hopeful to make enough noise to turn even the emptiest of vessels into agents of change. His change!