On Tuesday morning, 21-year-old singer Nanette wrote on her Twitter account: “Asking whoever wrote this to take it down, I’ll even pay if you don't want to,” along with a screenshot of an article we published about her last August.
“I know now never to share my thoughts publicly. Especially my breakdowns. But my mental state being clickbait doesn’t sit well with me.”
I didn’t really know how to feel when the link to this Tweet, which has since been deleted, was first sent to me by a friend of mine.
Had I used Nanette’s mental state as clickbait, as her Tweet suggested? After I read the story back, I didn’t think so.
As a reporter, I was merely reporting on a post she shared that I felt was of public interest: One of the most talented new artists in the country had tweeted that she couldn’t wait to be done with music because of the adverse effect it had on her mental health.
Funny enough, I actually really enjoy Nanette’s music. Just last June, off the strength of her stunning single “Fire”, I included her in my list of five of the best newcomers to look out for in an article that ran on this very platform and on GQ.
An hour or so after her tweet, I reached out to Nanette to hash things out.
I started by asking her what it was about the story she felt was clickbait.
She replied: “Firstly, I didn’t think that was a story that someone would’ve picked up. I was literally expressing how I feel mostly to my supporters who I felt would’ve wanted to know why I would’ve made such a drastic decision.
“It just put a spotlight onto something I didn’t really want a spotlight on...”
She continued: “I think it started getting a bit hectic when that story started getting in the way of opportunities or people thinking I’d somehow be unstable in a project because of my mental state or my willingness to eventually see myself quitting music.”
“I don’t take back what I said,” she added. “Eventually I know that I’m probably now going to do music forever, but that’s a sit-down story for a very long time from now type-thing.”
After I pointed out that as a public figure, there is naturally an interest in a topic such as this, which is why a platform like ours would naturally cover it, she shared that it’s difficult being a public figure and finding the balance between being someone who’s always been open with her supporters and starting a PR disaster.
“I’m 21 and I’m okay with it not being my forte right now because it’s things that I’m learning. But I think that, like I said, it’s a reality I don’t take back saying.
“And I don’t take back being very open about the things that I deal with and my mental health, which I have been dealing with for a very long time.”
In December, Nanette was featured on two of the most popular songs on amapiano star Kelvin Momo’s excellent new album, “Amukelani”.
Along with getting help for her mental health, she says this newfound success has helped her get into a better space and that she feels like she’s on a great path right now.
“I can’t lie and say it didn’t validate me or didn’t put me in a position where I’m like, ‘Oh shoot, I actually need to fulfil something here’.”
“Even if it’s not my only talent or the only thing I want to do in life, I have to see what this music thing is going to do because a lot of people are all of a sudden wanting to see what I have to say.”
“I need people to know that me not doing music forever shouldn’t be a bad thing because Nanette as a creative, there’s still a whole lot of other avenues that people are going to see me step into… eventually, I’d love it if people would evolve with me and not hold on to one side of me because that’s not the whole me.”