Hidden Herd-favourite Thandii‘s latest track continues her penchant for experimentation, taking often-rigid genres and adding a modern twist to take them into a new foray. The Margate singer-songwriter repeatedly captures our attention, so we wanted to reach out following her release of her Forgetful EP to see what she’s upto.
‘Alkaline’ is a truly soulful delight. How did the track come about?
Thank you! I really like it being called a ‘soulful delight’. Shuggie Otis‘s soulful 1974 album ‘Inspiration Information‘ has been an influence in a lot of the writing I’ve been doing. ‘Alkaline‘ is a long soft funk jam with winding melodies. I started writing the song at the Rhodes and lyrically I was thinking about an acidic relationship that I was trying to keep more neutral at the time. Hence Alkaline added to an acidic situation. Both lyrically and musically I wanted it to feel like a hypnotic cycle you can get lost in. It’s cosmic and spacey towards the end and lyrically I end up at ‘So I’ll leave here maybe tomorrow’ trying to cut and run from the relationship.
How did you start out in music?
The first time I sang in front of a crowd was at my school leavers mass (I went to a Catholic school) and I sang Coldplay‘s ‘The Scientist‘. After that I knew I wanted to be a singer and that summer I decided to go to a summer school to learn jazz music, which was cool. A lot of my friends and family are jazz musicians and I thought that’s what I wanted to do for a while, but I was always listening to songwriters, like Joni Mitchell, and writing my own stuff. I think the ECM label (Kenny Wheeler, Pat Metheny) has probably influenced the songs I write now. Over the last few years I started working with producer Graham Godfrey who has massively helped shape the sound. We work very closely on the songwriting and production together now, and it’s an exciting collaborative experience.
Your style is both eclectic and continually-dynamic. Who would you say are the Top 5 biggest influences on your sound right now?
Some artists who’ve influenced me are…
Joni Mitchell – incredible lyrics and melodies over such a broad musical landscape.
Shuggie Otis – I love his meandering melodies and slow funk jams.
Bjork – she’s such a fearless creative voice
Jimi Hendrix – the spirit in his music
Dilla – his creativity and passion
Any other new artists you have played with and would recommend?
There are some great new artists I’ve come across in Margate (where I live) I love Art School Girlfriend and Soma World. Also I’ve been singing backing vocals with Mr Jukes recently, his album ‘God First‘ is great. Both Graham and I also did some writing/producing for a band called Club Kuru on their latest album.
And finally, whats next for Thandii?
I’ll be releasing lots more music in the coming months and I can’t wait! I’m working hard on an album right now. And there’s gonna be lots more live shows, I really love playing live!