Whatever radio station you listen to, you’ve likely heard Thandi Phoenix’s voice before. The soulful Sydney singer has that rare crossover appeal which has seen her perform with Vera Blue, OneRepublic and Rudimental, hit #1 on Spotify’s viral charts, and play festivals here and overseas.
After four years of making sublime music, Thandi Phoenix has finally released her first EP.
“My taste in music has changed over the years and I think I fall in love with different sounds and I just put that into my music and I experiment with it,” she says of her journey in creating the EP.
“I think more now, I think I have a stronger message now than what I would’ve had before, so I’m really happy with how it’s all taken its time and didn’t rush to get the EP out. It all just worked out just right.”
Stream Thandi Phoenix’s EP below:
After writing in London, Sweden and Sydney and then culling the songs ruthlessly, what has resulted is six tracks of solid gold.
“It was really difficult for me to cull, it was hard work to pick the songs because there were obviously so many to choose from, but these are the strongest I believed, and the ones which just made it very cohesive and connected with me the most,” she says.
With not a filler song in sight, it’s hard to pick a favourite track
However, ‘Again’ featuring British musician Dan Caplen is certainly up there. Phoenix explains that she appreciated the song’s beautiful sentiment, “wanting not to reflect negatively on a relationship, but accepting that it had its time, it didn’t go the way you would’ve liked it to. But all the times you did have, the good far outweighs the bad.”
Co-written with LA songwriter and producer Schmarx, the song is notable for how stripped back it is.
“It was different to a lot of the stuff I was working on at the time. I was just so cautious about adding extra production to it, because it kind of took away from that raw, real sound that it had, just the guitar and vocals.
“But it was tricky, because with other songs, you’re like, just add this, add this, you can just keep adding stuff. But with this one I wanted it as minimal as possible. It was really about less is more for this track, and just finding that balance.”
From choir singer to NRL Grand Final performer
While Phoenix exudes confidence and charisma in her music and onstage, it wasn’t always the case. In high school, she started singing in the choir because she thought it would be less terrifying than performing by herself.
But seeing other people performing made her realise that that’s what she wanted to do, and she pushed herself to make it happen.
“Looking back in hindsight, it does seem a bit weird,” Phoenix admits. “I was so scared, but also I was like, I want to do that! I just had to fight through the nerves and put myself in uncomfortable positions, and yeah that was such a… I made a fool of myself!” she laughs.
Fast forward to now and she’s played Splendour in the Grass, Bigsound, SXSW and the NRL Grand Final, as well as her own headline tour. And anyone who’s seen her live will tell you she’s electric live, whether at a show or at a festival. Phoenix approaches all her live performances the same way, she says.
The only difference is the cardio involved: “I think I’m just going to go to the gym some more! I cannot help myself when I’m on stage, and just run around, so really if it’s a bigger stage it just means more exercise for me!”
Her next stop is Festival X, and after that, who knows what’s in store. All Phoenix can promise is that she’ll stay true to her own vision.
“You don’t want to make something to please someone else and then you’re not happy with it. I’m grateful when people want to play my stuff – if anyone wants to play my stuff I’m like, please! Thank you!
“So I don’t really think about whether my music is going to be played on this or that, I just try to make music that I love.”
Watch Thandi Phoenix in Twentynine-Scene below:
Festival X 2019 Lineup
Tickets on sale now
Armin Van Buuren
Futurecode (ben Gold X Omnia)*
Giuseppe Ottaviani Live 2.0*
MK (Marc Kinchen)
Paul Kalkbrenner (live)
Ruben De Ronde*
+ Local Supports to Be Announced
*not playing Brisbane
Friday, November 29th
RNA Showgrounds, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday, November 30th
Sydney Showgrounds, Sydney, NSW
Sunday, December 1st
Melbourne Showgrounds, Melbourne, VIC