Nakhane and ANONHI connected after he slid into the visionary artist's DMs after seeing a Facebook post she made about his song "Presbyteria." Comparing his voice to "a lake of deep soulfulness," ANOHNI said the South African artist possessed a humbling gift. The fact all of those sentiments could be mirrored back at ANOHNI only makes news of their collaboration all the more exciting.
"New Brighton" is taken from a forthcoming deluxe version of Nakhane's 2018 album You Will Not Die, due on February 22. The extended album will include two more new songs, "Medicine" and "Hey Lover," plus covers of David Bowie's "Sweet Thing" and "Age Of Consent" by New Order.
Speaking to The FADER about the collaboration, which is premiering above, Nakhane explained that he wrote the song on December 31 in 2013 and that it was originally called ‘New Year’s In New Brighton.’ "For the December holidays I was in New Brighton, a township in Port Elizabeth on the East coast of South Africa," he said. "For the first time ever I decided to look at my city from the eyes of a tourist. I couldn’t ignore the many colonial names and monuments that were triggers and oppressive reminders everywhere one went. Even the township New Brighton is named after Brighton in England. I was alone that New Year’s Eve so I went to the nearest tavern to get a couple of beers, and settled down to write the song. I knew I was railing against colonialism, but I'd been surrounded by my mother and my aunts that entire December, and all I could think was how much black women had done for me, for my family and how it was them who held the black household together for so many people. Instead of these dead, thieving, white guys who claimed land as their own, our mothers were the ones who should have been celebrated. While all this was going on, when people were being brutalised: where was god and their angels?
"Having ANOHNI - a musician who created a tectonic shift in my life - is still unbelievable to me. I wanted her to sound like an ancestor in the song: “Never live in fear again”. Such a simple line, but sung by that voice, it becomes Biblical."
Watch the "New Brighton" video above, now.