Our NEXT UP series is a music discovery initiative which showcases the next big things in Afro-influenced music from across Africa and beyond! In this edition, we speak to promising Malawian artiste Thandi Marie.
Currently based in Canada, the Malawian-born songstress has had the privilege of shuffling between different countries growing up, such as: South Africa, Spain and the UAE.
On Thandi Marie’s debut single, the earthy-toned songstress is in a vulnerable state as she sings in an open and honest way throughout the melodies and flows of the song. Not only are the soulful lyrics speaking to a love interest, they are also targeted towards her past, less secure self. The slow but steady evolution of the first verse to the last creates a soothing yet heartfelt listening experience.
1. Hello Thandi Marie. Tell me about your new song “Brand New”. What inspired it?
At the time I wrote “Brand New”, I was going through a period of internal growth and change. I was tired of holding myself back and not sharing my voice and potential with the world. So one day something sparked inside me and I was like, “okay, it’s time I pursue this music thing with all that I have.” So for me, this song represents being confident and not being afraid of speaking your truth openly and honestly.
2. What caused the move to Canada?
I moved here to be close to my family members and to attend post-secondary school.
3. I understand you just graduated from school. What did you study?
I recently just graduated from journalism school.
4. Are you the only musician in your family?
Music has always been a major part of my family. My brother Jason is an artist and a DJ who goes by the name Karate Kactus. My other brother Brandon is a DJ who goes by the name DJ Lusaka.
5. Let’s take it back to life in Southern Africa. What do you think is the biggest problem for an up and coming musician living in Malawi?
I’d say access to affordable resources. To make good quality music you need good quality equipment. If you’re an artist who wishes to make good quality music but doesn’t have access to that, it can be hard to get your career off the ground.
6. Do you think Malawian voices are heard enough today?
No, I don’t. There are very few Malawian artists on an international scale. I hope one day that changes and I want to be part of that change.
7. Has growing up in different parts of the world influenced your artistry in any way?
Having had the privilege of growing up in different parts of the world has helped me see the world in such an amazing way. I’ve met so many wonderful people and made so many amazing memories. All of that factors into my songwriting and overall being as an artist.
8. Describe your fashion sense.
My fashion sense is simple with a splash of glamour but it’s ever-changing. I love to be able to switch things up. I don’t like when people can predict me haha!
9. What keeps you motivated in pursuing a career in music?
Music has been the only thing I’ve constantly known I wanted to do since I was 14. I’m a creative person through and through. I’ve tried many creative things like art, baking and content creation. But, music is the only thing I can honestly say I wholeheartedly love and can’t live without. In order to live a happy life with no regrets, I know music is something I must do and pursue.
10. Are we to expect more music from Thandi Marie this year?
Most definitely! This is just the beginning for me and I’m so excited to see where the journey takes me.
Stream Thandi Marie’s “Brand New” below: