Nakhane’s You Will Not Die will Heal You

If you’re broken, Nakhane’s You Will Not Die will heal you. Russell Grant gets baptised in it’s healing waters.



When I first heard the new Nakhane album I did what I usually do the first time I listen to an album that I think is amazing: I tweet and rant to my friends on Whatsapp about how amazing it is. I don’t even think I was passed the first track on You Will Not Die when I started bombarding people with the news: You Will Not Die, the latest album from multi-talented artist Nakhane Toure, is exceptional. Perhaps best known these days for his outstanding role in the film Inxeba, Nakhane is also, quite clearly, a talented musician as well as a writer. I scooped up his debut novel, Piggy Boy’s Blues at the first chance I got, which, admittedly, I haven’t started reading yet, but it stares at me everyday, and if his music and acting are anything to go by, it’s going to be great.


Nakhane was born in the Eastern Cape in 1988. Adopted by his aunt early on, he was given the surname Mahlakahlaka, which he later changed to Toure, in honour of his hero, guitarist Ali Farka Toure. Music played a big role in his early development. You could say that Toure is a musician first, and a writer and actor second, but I don’t think that would be fair. Nakhane Toure is an artist, and that’s all that matters. He expresses himself through different means, using whatever medium he feels is appropriate for what he’s trying to say.


So, what of the album? You Will Not Die is soulful, soaring, gut-wrenching and heartfelt all at once. Nakhane’s voice makes you want to cry from the very first note. He takes you to depths, but always leaves you feeling uplifted. This is probably the heavy soul/gospel influence shining through. The album feels like a baptism, and Nakhane is the priest dipping your newborn, sinful head into the purifying waters. Nakhane’s voice makes me feel safe; redeemed; clean. If you’ve had a rough night; made some bad decisions; hurt someone, or yourself been hurt: put on this album. It will fix you. As I’m typing this the name Prince just popped into my head, and I think it’s a fair comparison. Nakhane is that sort of figure: immensely talented, with a personality that transcends his work, who offers up hope by the ton.


As for his influences, as I’ve mentioned, soul and gospel come through strongly. But Nakhane mixes, with a great deal of success, contemporary electronic elements which keep it from sounding dated. People who were into Bon Iver’s most recent album, 22, A Million, will probably dig this a lot. As will lovers of the neo-soul movement and people who just know what good music is in general.


Chatting with people on Whatsapp we jokingly came to the conclusion that Nakhane, in his multi-faceted way, is likely responsible for many of the good things we experience in our lives. The sound of gentle rain on a summer’s eve? Nakhane did that. The taste of a quarter bean the morning after a heavy night? Also Nakhane. In all seriousness though, this album is a classic, and now, thanks to it, whenever I see a beautiful sunset, I will think of Nakhane.


Listen to and download You Will Not Die below.



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