Desire Marea Announces New Album And Shares Lead Single

Desire Marea has announced the release of his upcoming album On the Romance of Being, which is set to drop on April 8th, 2023, via Mute Records. Ahead of the release, the South African musician has shared the lead single, “Be Free.”

On “Be Free”, Desire Marea subtly judges a former lover on his inability to accept himself. The song journeys from tense percussive jazz to a gospel-esque swell of horns and synth, representative of the lovers’ stubbornness and yearning to be free.

Speaking on the track, via a statement, Desire Marea comments, “One of my heroes, Marlon Riggs, said “Black men loving black men is THE revolutionary act”. ‘Be Free’ is a love story about two black men loving each other through the crisis of masculinity. It’s set in South Africa’s hypermasculine world of taxi gangs, one of the many places where gay men exist often under a layer of oppression that’s in addition to the homophobic violence of the world at large. It was important for me to tell this story because love, even under such conditions, is always a story worth telling. And freedom is always something worth fighting for. I am grateful to the team and to Imraan for the passion, care and nuance he gave to this story.”

“When Desire reached out to me about creating a film together, I was overjoyed as I’ve always found his work to be at the forefront of creativity. He told me about the story he had written and it resonated with me deeply as I’ve lost a loved one recently to the struggles of addiction and love. There was something universal in Desire’s writing and my intention was then to bring a strong emotional and cinematic approach to making the film,” explains video director Imraan Christian (Little Simz).

As captured in the video for “Be Free”, expressions of being through eroticism are prevalent throughout Desire Marea’s work. He notes the erotic as a life force beyond traditional reproductive notions: “The spirit likes to touch itself, it does so through other people, the spirit experiences itself through the erotic.” Lyrically, the album reflects on notions of truth, romance, sexuality, seduction and connection to nature through a kaleidoscopic spiritual lens.

Watch Desire Marea’s “Be Free” below

Desire Marea – Be Free (Directed by Imraan Christian)

Desire Marea’s voice is a culmination of many South African voices, a mouthpiece for a choir of spirits and entities. His second album On the Romance of Being is immersed in the communal, ceremonial and healing qualities of music.

On the Romance of Being is an epoch, as Desire Marea journeys through a multiplicity of identities and elicits a sincere conversation between the erotic and spiritual. Reflecting on his latest work, ultimately his truth as a vessel, Desire states “every grain in a sandstorm is a moving mountain”.

Desire Marea On the Romance of Being Tracklist

  1. Ezulwini
  2. Be Free
  3. Makhukhu
  4. Mfula
  5. Arrival
  6. Rah
  7. Skhathi
  8. Banzi

Pre-order On The Romance Of Being by visiting the website here.

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