“Non-binary South African artist Nakhane explores queer Black love and lust.” Attitude
Nakhane’s desire for songs to dance to has been fulfilled by the unabashed pop of ‘Do You Well’. The song is a duet with Perfume Genius and an exuberant invitation to bed. “Normally I’m ‘Oh my God, Jean Cocteau …’ but this one is just rutting sex,” Nakhane says, “which has its place!”.
Nakhane says about his collab with Perfume Genius : “I always thought singing with him would be a beautiful thing. I liked that it’s a song that was not necessarily what people would expect from us: a sad, trauma-mining ballad. Instead I wanted us to make a banger.”
“I wanted to explore the intersection of violence and sensuality, the dance of courting someone before you actually have sex with them,” says Nakhane of the video.
“It was inspired by a lot of gay-themed films, where we normally see characters wrestling with their inner dialogue before they give in to their desires. So I said why not make that wrestling literal? Of course the inspiration for that was how homoerotic wrestling is.”
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Nakhane is a South African singer, songwriter, actor and writer. Having grown up among a Christian community in Port Elizabeth, at 15 they moved to Johannesburg, leaving the church in 2013, publicly celebrating their queerness with their debut album Brave Confusion. In 2015, Nakhane’s debut novel Piggy Boy’s Blues was published, set in their hometowns of Alice and Port Elizabeth and portraying a Xhosa royal family. It was nominated for the Barry Ronge Fiction Prize and the Etisalat Prize for Fiction. They found both controversy and critical acclaim with their starring role in John Trengove’s 2017 feature film Inxeba (The Wound), which they won four acting awards for (FIPRESCI award for Best Actor in a foreign film, South African Film and Television Awards, Durban International Film Festival, Valencia International Film Festival Cinema Jove). Nakhane relocated to London to record and release 2018’s heavily autobiographical album You Will Not Die. The album garnered acclaim and adoration from publications and platforms such as Pitchfork, The New York Times, The Observer, i-D, DIY, MOJO, Noisey, Loud & Quiet, The Line Of Best Fit and a plethora of others. Meanwhile simultaneously gaining adoration from world renowned superstars Madonna and Elton John. In 2020, they appeared in Travis Fine’s film, Two Eyes and award-winning writer/director debbie tucker green’s latest feature project, Ear for Eye, based on debbie’s play of the same name.