Words With Thandi Phoenix

Sydney electro-talent Thandi Phoenix is riding a wave of energy, passion and opportunity right now and her buzz is catchy. Having just released the excellent Standing Too Close, a track influenced by the minimal, percussive and raw sounds of South African flavoured ‘Gqom’, plus currently mid-tour supporting none other than Vera Blue, Thandi’s got a stack of shit to be excited about. Rocking a happy and passionate vibe, Thandi tells WildnFree all about it.

WF: How is the Vera Blue tour treating you right now? What an amazing opportunity and experience. Tell me all about it. 

TP: It’s been really, really lovely! Celia (Vera Blue), Lakyn and the whole crew are an absolute treat. Plus previously I’ve only toured in major cities so it’s been super cool to explore more of Australia and play to new audiences. She is and her show is SO flipping good its wonderful to be able to see another woman and fellow Aussie in the industry absolutely smashing it and living her dreams…. makes me very happy 🙂 

WF: How’s life been since last year’s huge Tell Me Where All The Lovers’ Gone? What new doors did it open? 

TP: Life’s been a roller coaster. At the time the song came out I went on tour with Rudimental and it was the first time I was playing the song in front of audiences that size. I still feel very fortunate and flattered by the response it received. triple j added it to full rotation, it went number one on Australian Spotify viral charts and it made its way onto triple j’s house party CD. All of this has obviously helped with exposure and has led to me working with some wonderful people.  

WF: New track Standing Too Close is a ‘sound inspired by your South African heritage’ – love it, tell me more!

TP: Yeah I mean my sound is a melting pot of my different musical influences and my experiences. I was born in Sydney, my mum’s Australian and my dad’s from Soweto in Johannesburg. When I was over there I instantly fell in love with the heavily percussive and distinctive melodic sounds I was hearing. On ‘STC’, there were different treatments tried on the production and we tried to work it out of that ‘safe’ space. I was introduced to JV who specialises in Gqom, a South African style of house which is quite minimal, incredibly percussive and raw. So, we merged the existing elements or electronic and garage beats with his flavour and it was a light bulb moment. 

WF: How has music been part of your life journey so far? 

TP: Music has been with me every step of the way. Some of my favourite childhood memories are dancing around the house singing my lungs out. I went to a performing arts school, I sat on my bed writing songs to express my thoughts and emotions, and I snuck into live music venues and jams to satisfy my urge to perform. Without music, I honestly I don’t know where or what I’d be doing right now. 

WF: What’s coming up next for you? 

TP: This week I’ve got some sessions, I’m recording some live videos and then I’ll be back on the road with Vera Blue, first stop Brisbane.  Beyond the tour, I’ve got some more exciting shows coming up including BIGSOUND and some fresh collabs and releases in the pipeline.

Love your work Thandi! Check her out live on the remaining Vera Blue live dates below, and get on board Standing Too Close.



Friday 25 August – The Triffid, Brisbane QLD – SOLD OUT

Saturday 26 August – The Mills Precinct, Toowoomba QLD

Sunday 27 August – Miami Marketta, Gold Coast QLD – SOLD OUT

Thursday 31 August – Wollongong Uni Bar, Wollongong NSW

Friday 1 September – The Beery, Terrigal NSW

Saturday 2 September – Metro Theatre, Sydney NSW – ALL AGES

Friday 8 September – Bar on the Hill, Newcastle NSW

Saturday 9 September – Odeon Theatre, Hobart TAS

Sunday 10 September – 170 Russell, Melbourne VIC


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