Catchy gems and innovative fashion define Damane

Singer's sound hearkens to musical training

Andrei Damane.
Andrei Damane.
Image: Supplied.

There is a particular image of vocal powerhouse divas that comes to mind when thinking of artists who started off in church choirs. For 29-year-old going on 30 Andrei Damane, that frigid box of choral stars is not a space for his immense talent to fit in.

Smoothly blending the emotion of R&B, the catchy jams of variable house genres and the sparkling magnetism of pop, Damane is becoming an artist to watch with this modern approach to what love, life and fun sounds like.

No stranger to the stage, the young star often put on showcases for his family with his cousins. Damane was also soloist for the South African Youth Choir and studies at the University of Cape Town for a degree in music.

His latest single, Fun, carries the same bravado of his previous extended play record (EP) and looks at how one should look at life from different perspectives.

“It’s about how much fun can be had instead of just focusing on this one standard, specific viewpoint or perspective,” says Damane.

Joyous of the warm reception it has received in its ability to blend genres, Damane has always sought to present music that rolls off the tongue, so it is not only memorable to the listener but also aims to be clever in a way that hearkens to his musical training and the craft of taking cues from different cultures and genres for a listenability beyond his niche audience.

Though he does not consider himself a fashionista, often seen as the least fashionable in his friendship group, Damane creates a distinct image that seems to morph throughout his musical career.

“I approach each project with a level of intentionality; sonically what it sounds like, thematically what we’re signing about and visually what it looks like or what is being presented for that song,” says Damane, whose colourful style bounces between bold colours and soft pastels.

“I’ve always enjoyed what androgyny means and what it unlocks. Previously, I’ve done a lot of soft colours and textiles because there were a lot of geometric shapes. It’s also born out of the way women’s clothing fits with bows and how it’s oversized. With this project I embraced it a little more deliberately with makeup and hair,” says Damane, who not only took on the eye-catching look to challenge himself but to also challenge his audience.

Damane adds: “I don’t believe that there are really many examples of androgyny being presented in a way that is not performative...I just want to show from a musical perspective that it’s an added form of art, lense and filter that can be used as a form of expression, which I think is really powerful.”

Keen on venturing into a capella for a sound similar to a mash-up of The Soil and US vocal group Pentatonix, Damane is also looking to try his hand at soft and pop rock genres that hark back to the 1990s.

Damane’s music is available on all major streaming platforms.

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