Gyre makes a statement with debut project Queernomics

Every once in a while, the South African hip-hop industry is introduced to a special talent – an artist who brings something new to the game, an artist who makes it hard for you ignore the talent they possess. S’bonakaliso Nene, popularly known as Gyre, is a 22-year-old writer, musician, lyricist, actor and LLB student and he is that artist right now, in South Africa.

With the release of his first debut project, Queernomics, Gyre offers a project about a gay artist using his platform to shed light on the experiences of a gay black person living in South Africa.

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As a gay rapper, Gyre is challenging the definition of masculinity and how it is seen within the hip-hop society today.

“I wanted to make a project that brings forth the experiences that many of my queer friends and I go through. Hip-hop has always been viewed as this genre where, in order to be accepted as a rapper you either had to be this real ‘hardcore manly man’ and if you were female, you had to act tough and not show too much of your femininity,” explained Gyre.

Gyre started writing songs at the age of 12 and by the time he was 20, he found that his lyrical content became hard to effectively express in song.

“Highly motivated by Lady Gaga’s album with Tony Bennett, I too was inspired to expand my musical capabilities and so I began rapping and have been, since. Through this process, I believe I have stumbled on my niche – rap music. I still, however, write songs and I’m competent on the piano.”

Read: #ICYMI: Musical duo takes township dreams to world stage dominance

Outside of rap music, Gyre has been and continues to be involved in all things arts related.

“As part of the Wits Music Society’s committee, I have organised countless shows and events in the last few years. Last year I was a columnist for The Star newspaper and just recently I was invited to be a panellist, guest performer and journalist on Expressions on SABC 1.”

Gyre said his debut project aims to break boundaries and dismantle the status quo.

“I want to open up predominantly cis-heterosexual spaces for myself and especially other queer bodies. Instil a culture of queer pride through #QueerRap. To normalise queer experiences to a demonising society. Art has a great role to play in this stead. I plan on pioneering this!”


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