Sound of the week: Nakhane – “Do You Well” (Feat. Perfume Genius)

South African multi-disciplinary artist and musician Nakhane (they/them) just released their new single ’Do You Well’ featuring Perfume Genius. Produced by Emre Türkmen with additional production by Nile Rodgers, ‘Do You Well’ is a sonic oasis of nu-disco, funk and electronic sounds. Decorating the track’s hedonistic and libidinous spirit are thumping basslines and synth chords reminiscent of Donna Summer and Giorgio Moroder’s work. Unabashedly evoking and communicating feelings of lust, longing and desire, the lyrics detail one’s desire to bear witness to their lover’s body in its full and bountiful glory.

Following in the footsteps of their previous single Tell Me Your Politik’, ‘Do You Well’ sees Nakhane extending their palette further into more high-energy territory with a marked focus on underground club subcultures. Contributing guest vocals on the track is avant-garde musician Perfume Genius.

Speaking on the collaboration, Nakhane said: “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.”

The accompanying visual is the manifestation of a concept fully formed by Nakhane themself with direction by Jordan Rossi (Years & Years, MNEK, Craig David, Griff). The video hones in on the mutual infatuation and apprehension between two black queer men. The narrative is split between Nakhane and their love interest wrestling while also submitting to their desire for one another.

Speaking on their approach to creating the visual Nakhane said:
“I wanted to explore the intersection of violence and sensuality, the dance of courting someone before you actually have sex with them. 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”.

‘Do You Well’ marks Nakhane’s first piece of new material since the release of ‘Tell Me Your Politik’ featuring Moonchild Sanelly and Nile Rodgers. Released back in July to rave reviews and praise from The Observer, OkayAfrica, The Line Of Best Fit, Nowness, CLASH and Pan-African Music while also scoring platitudes from BBC 6Music.

The new single comes ahead of Nakhane’s forthcoming EP dropping on December 16th which will be preceded by a heartfelt track entitled ‘My Ma Was Good’ dropping on November 18th.

Listen to Nakhane: