Rain on my heartache



ALL wet and no-one to love. Yahto Kraft in ‘Washed Away’. Photo by PJ Hougaard.

A TALE OF frustration and confusion, to say nothing of gender bewilderment in a desperate quest for love, young South African performer Yahto Kraft’s second single, Washed Away, released on 1 August 2020 brings together lyrical story telling that is a perfect vehicle for this performer’s tremendous vocal range. The song is encapsulated in a video work that is dramatically in black and white with a soft focus, evocative of film of the 1950s. It is available through several online platforms, and demonstrates the singularity of this young performer’s approach and attitude.

Playing with sexuality and skirting ambiguity in different ways, the work is fed by drag clichés that take some surprising twists. If you listen to the song without the support of the video, the sense of Kraft’s emotive presence is strong and muscular, but the narrative imperatives are not accented. With the video, however, the work is a vignette of sexual confusion frankly told yet maturely unresolved.

But it is ultimately the potency of Kraft’s presence, be it in greased back drag or in a hypermasculine trope, that holds this work tight and brings the song and its visual component together with conviction, never allowing the costumes to slip into maudlin or clownish. There is an earnestness to his focus which feels almost sacred. An immensely talented and brave youngster, Kraft will make heads turn, as he stretches the possibilities of his talent in whichever direction.

  • Washed Away is written by Ruth Rozanne Kahts. Produced by Joshua Oosthuizen, it features Yahto Kraft (vocals), Joshua Oosthuizen (guitar), Denny Lalouette (bass), Jaconell Mouton (strings) and Vinnie Henrico (drums). It is mastered by Jaco Naude. The video for the song is directed by PJ Hougaard and Yahto Kraft and features videography and cinematography by PJ Hougaard.

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