Lead singer of Nané dead at 29
He used to sing to blow off steam while cramming for his UT biochemistry exams. It was only when he heard applause coming through his dormitory walls that he thought he might be onto something.
Daniel Sahad, the outsized personality who fronted the Austin band Nané since their beginnings in 2016, passed away Sunday the 10th. He was 29 years old.
No details have been released on this tragedy, but the band has confirmed his death on Instagram and asked for privacy for his family.
Nané began like so many Austin acts, on small stages with smaller audiences. But word spread quickly of Sahad’s charisma and heart -on-his-sleeve performances. Before long they were attracting huge crowds, public fans like former Alabama Shakes vocalist Brittany Howard, and pointing at a career trajectory only a global pandemic could bring back to earth.
Sahad emerged as a fully-formed talent when Nané began, thanks to tutelage from UT’s Gary Powell, who introduced him to guitarist Ian Green. Green and Sahad went on to form the band that John Spiece, famed producer and drummer from Grupo Fantasma, took under his wing. From the beginning, they dazzled their fans. Soon Nané found themselves hitting the ACL Fest stage, and on a national tour with Galactic. The band was making all the right moves, and things were really starting to click.
It could have never happened. Sahad, a native Spanish-speaking child of Dominican Republic immigrants, felt the need to break out, to prove himself and escape the dead-end racism that permeated his upbringing in a predominantly white section of Amarillo. A career in medicine seemed the right path. But he discovered something else inside of him, a natural talent that was starting to bring him the success he always desired.
In a Studio 1A session recorded in December 2021 as Nané began to emerge from the pandemic, you can feel the honest joy Sahad exudes from being back on stage. It’s embracing, infectious. And now, heartbreaking.