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Desire Marea

Desire Marea is a South African multidisciplinary artist whose tense, challenging work draws from several post-industrial, art rock, and club music styles, and addresses themes such as loneliness, trauma, displacement, and sexuality. Also a member of performance art duo FAKA, Marea released his debut solo album, Desire, in 2020. Departing from the first record's primarily electronic sound, 2023's On the Romance of Being is a full band recording taking influence from jazz and post-punk. Born Buyani Duma, Desire Marea majored in Performing Arts at the National School of the Arts in Johannesburg, and also earned his bachelor's degree in Visual Communication at the Vega School. He pursued acting and worked at a top South African advertising agency. He formed the queer performance art duo FAKA with Thato Ramaisa (aka Fela Gucci) in 2015. After appearing that year on NON Worldwide Compilation, Vol. 1, the pair released the 2016 EP Bottoms Revenge on the label, and Marea was additionally featured on Angel-Ho's Emancipation EP. FAKA's second EP, 2017's Amaqhawe, was more club-ready than their debut, reflecting the influence of South Africa's gqom scene. The duo performed at numerous festivals, including MELT!, Roskilde, and Sonar, and were commissioned to write music for several high-profile fashion shows. They were also featured on Africa Express' 2019 album Egoli. Marea digitally released his first solo album, Desire, on Izimakade Records in 2020. With nearly operatic vocals sung in English and Zulu, the record's tracks ranged from sophisticated art pop to noisy IDM. The album received word-of-mouth acclaim, and Mute picked it up for a physical release in 2021. Marea spent two years training as a Sangoma, a traditional Nguni spiritual healer. He recorded his next album with a live band, including noted jazz musicians Sibusiso Mashiloane and Sbu Zondi. On the Romance of Being appeared in 2023, with lyrics exploring spiritual, romantic, and sexual themes.
© Paul Simpson /TiVo


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