Daniel Sahat, lead singer of the Austin band Nane, passed away on Sunday night. He is 29 years old.
The news was announced on Monday on the band’s social media accounts.
A supersonic five-piece that performed small wonders of funk and soul, Sahat and his band were rising stars in the Austin music scene, topping the Austin 360’s list of Austin artists to watch in 2022.
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Nane’s latest shows include New Year’s Eve Blowout with PLK Odyssey at Empire, a scene from last year’s Austin FC season appearance at Q2 Stadium, and the magnificent Austin City Limits Music Festival set for 2021.
I featured myself on Netflix’s Austin-based reality TV show “Twentysomethings”.
Last week, Sahad and his band played at City Hall, and Austin’s City Council named April 7 “Nine Day” in Austin. This was the first show performed in the rooms before the epidemic.
The band recently completed their first national tour, which opened for the Funk Band Galactic. Drummer John Spice, who produced the band’s self-titled first album, said Sunday night that they “accelerated and really killed it” by offering show-stopping shows in the best markets across the country.
Sahad, the child of immigrants from the Dominican Republic with family roots in Lebanon, grew up in the small Amarillo town of Bunhand. Throughout his childhood, he struggled with a sense of displacement, he told the Statesman in 2020. Although Spanish was his first language, on trips to DR, his accent set him apart from the rest of the family. Returning home, he said, “in North Texas you face the growing explicit and hidden racism, as one of the brown children of the city.”
Initially, he realized that he could use the weight of words to “really change people’s minds” and “see life through my lens” he said in 2020.
“I have been writing speeches and songs and everything since I was a child because words are so powerful that, when used in the right way, they can change everything,” he said.
Sahat met Ian Green, co-founder and guitarist myself at the University of Texas, and the musical and personal connection between the two was so strong that it persuaded Sahat to drop his prudent pre-med major to pursue music.
When the band was ready to record their first album, Green introduced Sahat to his fiance, Speese. The drummer, who has experience playing with Grubo Fantasma and Brownout, thought he could help his daughter’s boyfriend by signing the plan. But when he first heard Sahad sing, Spice was beaten to his “effortless four-acre range”.
“I was like, it’s super special. It’s not regular (explosive), it’s some special (explosive),” Spice said.
“He can have a very powerful voice, but he can also do this sweet falseset,” Jaron Marshall, Nane’s former keyboardist, said from Nashville on Monday, where he plays at the Folk Music TV Awards with Black Puma. The voice accurately reflected “a man who could be a bear bear.”
Marshall, who began playing with Sahat in 2018, saw the band’s happy release of a mix of happy funk and soul. At the time, it was the best band he had ever been to.
“It inspired me,” he said. He was impressed by Sahat’s professionalism and determination. Sahad said he was the first Austin musician he met, and he took a “LA” approach to the professional aspect of music.
Sahat thought strategically about marketing and promotion. He garnered national attention with the submission video of the NPR Tiny Desk competition, which the band filmed in a laundry shop shortly after the Corona virus epidemic closed the music industry in 2020, using videos and shorts to increase interest in the band’s work.
Singer-songwriter Brittany Howard named the band’s song “Blue Velvet” one of her favorite submissions that year.
“I already love this person. The singer has no restraint. He loves himself, he feels himself,” Howard said of an NPR video about his favorite songs in the competition. I think.”
“His personality was very bright,” Spice said, adding that Sahad had a “special magnet” that attracted people to him. He had the rare gift of being able to make close contacts with thousands of visitors. He made complete strangers feel like his best friends.
After the album was produced, Spice introduced myself to Rick McNaldy, the music arranger for Austin’s public radio station KUTX 98.9 FM.
“We trusted them from the beginning and we fully expected them to explode nationwide and globally. They seemed to have special ingredients, mojo,” McNulty said Monday. He was recognized as an attractive lead man with a wonderful singing voice and excellent songwriting chops. The team had all the elements for potential success.
In October, Sahad told the Statesman that his band was “deep in writing our second record, which makes our voices even louder and really strong.” He said the band plans to record this month.
Artists and industrialists at the Austin Theater responded with shock and sadness to the news of Sahad’s death on Monday.
“This brilliant light left this world very quickly. I remember hearing the voice of Daniel Sahat for the first time. I was amazed at the power he blew and the dripping he was dripping,” soul singer Tamega Jones wrote on Sahat’s Facebook page.
Juwan Elcock, who plays Sam Houston from the band Blk Odyssy, wrote on Facebook, “I never felt this way when I look at the (music) folder I made for you, and people don’t realize it.”
“He was an amazing pioneer, wrote brilliantly and had the momentum for a big year / important career,” ACL Radio DJ Andy Langer wrote on Twitter.
“There was a lot in front of them,” McNaldy said. “That’s the hardest thing to swallow. You know what energy he has, other than being such a handsome, loving guy. You feel brave that we won’t see it.”
No cause of death was reported.
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