In typical Nakhane fashion, sex is only used as an entry point into some of the more important topics, including religion, gender and the pressures of family expectations. (Nakhane was born into a Xhosa family in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. After being 19 out of the closet by her family and tied up with a rope, Nakhane was born as a queer The journey took an unexpected detour Five years of bible study and conversion therapy; they were in 2017 drama The Wound Notable performances as actors explored in part the prominence of homophobia within the Xhosa community.) Take the album’s lead single, the dramatic “Tell Me About Your Politics,” which features Xhosa music Featuring Moonchild Sallely, explores their feelings of regret after associating with someone with a different political stance than their own (before bursting into a saxophone solo, naturally) or Perfume Genius featuring “Do You Well” Unanimous, sees the couple crooning “Stay in the lights so I can see your face” for their sweethearts over sparkling synths and a twirling disco ball to a beat.
“This time, I thought, I want to be in control, I want to trust my decisions,” they say of the album’s bolder sonic palette. “I still want it to be collaborative, but I just want to steer the ship. Not to glorify the pandemic, but one of the things I like about working remotely is all those crazy ideas that you’re all alone and you’re maybe a little bit insecure or Embarrassed, no one is there to judge me, so I let them happen.”
Still, for Nakhane, making one felt very personal The dual goals of an album and an album that invites a diverse set of collaborators aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive. “Oddly enough, I think I was inspired by Björk’s Homogenic – the album she wanted to control the most was also her most collaborative album – I thought, it’s a Very interesting paradox,” they said. Based on the spirit of collaboration: when Nakhane met one of their heroes, Nile Rodgers, he was on the air of the famous British TV music show and later… with Jools Holland at . (If it bodes well for anyone keen to delve deeper into Nakhane’s intriguing sonic world, it’s their illustrious co-signing list; fans include Madonna, Elton John, and their former collaborator Anohni .) Their first encounter took place in a backstage dressing room. “Someone whispered that he knew my music, and I was like, ‘What, how could that be!’ We met in the dressing room and when I got up I slipped and fell into his arms,” recalls Nakhane with a laugh road. “I’d say it was a cute encounter, like in an American rom-com.”