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Interview: Thando

Thank plays Bello Winter Music Festival, 12–15 July.

Thando at Bello

Bello Winter Music Festival | 12–15 July 

Zimbabwe-born songstress Thando has been gracing stages around Australia with her electric presence and powerhouse vocal. 

Thando grew up feasting on the musical offerings of Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Queen, and TLC. Along the way, she found Jill Scott and crafted her genre-bending sound with an electric live set. 

With the highly anticipated release of her brand-new single Numb, this multidimensional performer is looking toward solidifying her status as Melbourne’s newest first lady of R&B, and her show at Bello Winter Music.

We swapped emails last week and chatted up a storm…

How would you describe your music? 

Emotion-driven R&B with a touch of electronica.

What’s your earliest memory of being inspired by a music? Can you remember a song or the situation? 

Watching Freddie Mercury with Queen live at Wembley on VHS. I fell in love and wanted to be a performer ever since.

Are you a classically trained pianist? Where did you learn and how did you come to be learning the piano? 

Na, not classically trained. I learned how to play from those Alfred basics then taught myself the rest I needed to know. I use the keys to write my music, but you’ll so seldom see me playing keys live; I prefer to be at the front connecting with my audience in the best way I know how.

Your new track Numb has much more of an electro element to it. What do you think has inspired this shift in your sound? 

I’ve always wanted to have a more electronic feel to my music and because I hadn’t released anything in a couple of years I thought it was the best time to try to see what people would think. You’ll be hearing a lot more of it in future.

How did your collaborations with Remi begin? Where do you see it taking you both? 

We’ve always known the same people but we hadn’t ever spoken about collaborating. When I finished Numb and it was ready to go, I messaged him on a whim over Facebook and asked if he’d jump on board (not thinking he’d say yes) and he was all over it. Within a week, we had a new version of the song, had to shoot a new video (the original one may pop up, who knows), and it’s kind of blown up. Since then I did a feature on his song My People, and Sensible J and Rem are going to be helping with my album so it’s established a great working relationship. 

Whats coming up for Thando? Where would you like 2018 to take you? 

This year my focus was playing some interstate shows and festivals, so I’ve got some exciting announcements coming up. I have a new single that is so close to finished and have started recording music for a new project that I’m really excited about. Summer is going to be full of new music so stay tuned!

What can people expect from you at Bello Winter Music? 

Well I’m bringing my whole band, so it’ll be a huge sound. Two beautiful backing singers so expect three times the sass, a grooving rhythm section and a badass synth lord. Fun for the whole family during the day, and a lot more adult at night. Can’t wait!

www.bellowintermusic.com


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