Getting to know Thandi Phoenix

Thandi Phoenix recently released her new single, Standing Too Close, and is currently on tour with Vera Blue. We asked her to tell us about herself: 

I am Thandi Phoenix, The first ‘h” is silent and yes that’s my real name. It’s short for my full name which is Thandiwe (pronounced: Tun di way) and it means “loved one” in Zulu. In the past I’ve found myself answering to names such as THaDawe, THandiNe, Tanny and all manner of mispronunciations. I’m from Sydney and I’m a 23-year-old, singer songwriter.

Standing Too Close is my new single and I’m super happy that it’s out for you all to hear. Sometimes a song will come to me in a heartbeat… other times it takes a while longer in the oven and the collective creativity of multiple people. It started at a writing session I had with PJ (Thief) and UK producer Paul Rogers. It was the first time I’d met both of them but I could feel and hear a wonderful synergy instantly. By the end of the day we had the bed of what you hear today. It was 90% there, but still undercooked… so I collaborated with the ever-fabulous KLP to write the hook of the song and producer JV who specialises in Gqom (South African grimy house) for the final rhythmical ingredients. It’s a song I think we can all relate to, being faced with a tug of war between your head and your heart.

Touring with Vera Blue is the nicest touring experience I’ve had so far. I met Celia (Vera Blue) at a writing camp a few years ago, where we both met Andy & Tom Macken who I went on to write my last single “Tell Me Where The Lovers Have Gone” with. They have since gone on to be Vera’s core producers/collaborators for her project. She reached out to me when getting her live show together and I put her in contact with Ross James who I’d been introduced to through my friend and drummer Yanya Boston. Ross, Yanya and l wrote my first release “Come Around” together. So it all feels a bit full circle really. The Australian music industry is quite small, especially us all being from Sydney so everyone on the tour knows each other and there’s a super nice vibe between everyone. Vera is truly a shining light in the landscape of Australian music at the moment… a perfect blend of singer songwriter mixed with electronics and its been wonderful traveling the country and play in front of new audiences.

Home is where my loved ones are.

I spend too much time on my phone and watching reality telly…. SOS. HELP Meeeee… just as soon as this episode finishes.

I’ve never fallen over on stage…… but offstage it’s a whole other story.

It might surprise people to learn that I don’t sell electronics, for those of you from outside of Australia, there used to be a chain of electronic shops called “Tandy Electronics”.

In the future I want to be travelling the world, playing music. Improving myself and my craft whilst meeting wonderful people and making magical memories along the way.

Thandi supports Vera Blue at the following Australian venues:

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

 Tickets here. Keep up to date with Thandi on Facebook

bobby townsend


Interview by Bobby Townsend