10 Things x Nakhane

The musician-actor on vetkoeks + strange pick-up lines


Interview: Akim Jardine | Design + Illustration: Keshia Chapman | Images: Supplied

If you’ve watched this man live, it’s hard to say that you haven’t been entranced by the energised performances of the musician whose sound climbs into your soul. And we know his bold visuals are a melancholic feast for the eye. Naturally, we wanted to catch up with Nakhane in his downtime to learn about his musical influences, literary favourites and which pick-up lines to avoid when trying to get his attention.

  1. Watching Ozark, the series, and it’s stressing me the f*ck out!
  2. Exercising
  3. Practising coherent breathing
  4. Taking baths. I used to take three baths a day, but that’s just environmentally irresponsible. Don’t do that.
  5. Keeping a schedule. I’ve added to-do lists now and crossing off tasks is wildly satisfying.
  6. Communicating with family and friends
  7. Plenty of naps
  8. Playing piano
  9. Reading... in the bath, mostly
heroes m8
  1. Mark Padmore. A tenor who has one of the most exquisite voices you’ll ever hear. When it comes to classical music, a genre in which it seems everyone wants their voices to carry 84km (we have microphones now), he really leans into the meaning, whispers, aspiration.
  2. Charles Mingus. He was a volcanic personality. If he were making music now, he would have been cancelled for sure. His music is otherworldly, his autobiography is hilarious and heartbreaking, he was a genius.
  3. Rotimi Fani-Kayode. A Nigerian-born photographer who created images equally beautiful as they are frightening.
  4. Mike Nichols. He’s made two films/series that I love: Closer and Angels In America. He wasn’t afraid of the dirt and messy human bits.
  5. Barkley L Hendricks. An African American painter who made beautiful life-sized portraits.
  6. Yoga. It helps me stay in the present, to be in my body and breathe.
  7. Tony Leung Chiu-wai. A Hong Kong-based actor who I love very much. He’s acted in some of my favourite Wong Kar-wai films, including Happy Together. He is intense and very, very hot!
  8. My grandmother’s vetkoeks. She passed away more than a decade ago and no one has made me a better vetkoek. No one.
looks m7
nakhane songs m6
cities m5
books m4
pickup lines m3
  1. “Can I come live with you? I’ll take good care of you.” I’d just met the person.
  2. “I’m sure you are breaking all the girls’ hearts.” I think they were digging to see if I liked men or not.
  3. “F*ck you. Joking. I was just trying to get your attention.”
nakhane self-portrait m2
tip m1

I’ve spent a lot of time beating myself up for not exhausting myself doing things, now I’m more interested in relaxing into it. If I’m tense or punishing myself, I’m less likely to do anything and if I do it, I’m probably not going to do it well. Relax, do a bit here, do a bit there.

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