Nonku Phiri believes music has the ability to connect people and this is the philosophy that has motivated her to create more music to use as a tool to tell her stories.
The daughter of the late music maestro Ray Phiri refers to the type of music she produces as a mixture of all influences she grew up listening to, mainly RnB, kwaito and electro.
And through music, she says she has found true freedom allowing the music to flow freely between people.
“As artists I think we should always focus on evolving and not being one-dimensional. I spent a lot of my formative years collaborating and discovering different genres and how to use my voice as an instrument in terms of those genres.
“So it’s been a process of finding my own voice to be able to challenge myself in terms of the content and context of what it is that I am working on. Now it is about exploring and learning more about myself,” says the Things We On The Weekend hit-maker.
According to Nonku, music is also an intimate and personal journey for the artist and a shared experience both for listener and creator. Her journey with music created an organic space that led her to her destiny which is performance.
“I appreciate just being able to do what I need to do. I enjoy the freedom to create what I want to create fearlessly,” she says while describing her career as a fairly rewarding one, especially with her being able to stick to her guns and not feeling the need to conform.
“I am grateful to be able to explore music like I have and being surrounded by amazing people who push me. I hope I can be able to do it for someone else,” she adds.
The star is working on her EP (extended play record) and her first album concurrently. “I have two singles coming out in the next two months that will be a very good indicator of what to expect from the album. I am looking forward to sharing a lot this year.
“South Africa has always been ready for my music as I have been for the past six or seven years engaging with the audiences,” Nonku says.
She believes that artists sometimes tend to underestimate South Africa’s openness to music but the journey is not necessarily about being accepted but about people who find something in the music.
“The aim is not about winning people over for the moment but the focus is on taking people with me and hearing something different with me. Therefore I think they are ready,” she adds.
Nonku is also due to grace the Littlegigs Festival stage, the world’s only 24-hour all-inclusive festival, coming up on February 17 and 18 in Stellenbosch.
“We will be sharing new material on the day so people can expect nice vibes on the day of our live show. There will be a lot of interaction between us and the audience and therefore creating memories,” she says.
Although the musician did not want to speak about her late father, the legendary Ray Phiri who died in 2017, she has her eye set on making significant and lasting marks in the industry, just as her father did.
“I see myself still doing what I’m doing but hopefully being a good example to impart a little bit of knowledge into independent artist’s careers.
“I am committed to making an impact and still do what I need to do. It is a holistic process that I want to achieve,” she says.