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For many Australian audiences, the ‘First Lady of Soul and R&B’ is a description that takes stunning form in Thndo. A multi-faceted entertainer: Thndo is an artist whose work not only speaks truth to power, but as a performer, her presence radiates a natural warmth and charisma that has endeared her to audiences nationwide, for almost a decade.
Since 2016, Thndo’s music has woven stories of strength, openness and conflict, with those of love, empowerment and sensuality – with flair. Her vocals, a fusion of rich range and buttery, soulful delivery, powered by a core sense of assuredness and authenticity that has never wavered. It is this sense of self and identity that has led Thndo to dominate stages around Australia in different formats; whether it be in theatre, headlining her own acclaimed shows, commanding festival crowds at events including WOMADelaide,Groovin The Moo, Woodford Folk Festival and BIGSOUND, or establishing herself as a popular household name with millions of Australians as a finalist of the 2022 season of The Voice Australia.
A listener gravitates towards Thndo because found in her output, there is unabashed honesty and charm. Every performance of hers is a statement; her evolution easily traceable from her 2016 debut EP Digital Love Letters, across a string of impactful singles including ‘Numb’ (2018) ‘Gag Order’ (2019), and ‘Naked’ (2020), eventually leading to the creation of her most defining works to date – the Life In Colour EP and emphatic singles ‘Fall’, both released in 2022. The record highlighted Thndo’s power as a songwriter and a boldness in stepping forward and presenting observations from life lived growing up black in Australia, through her own unique lens.
Building upon a stacked foundation of R&B, hip hop and Afrobeats influences, Life In Colour refused to shy away from confrontational topics including displacement and discrimination; yet it took a dedicated approach in illuminating Thndo’s pride in her heritage, and the life she has carved out for herself as a black woman in Australia – especially a black woman in Australia, in the arts.
Since the release of Life In Colour and the success found as a result of her tenure on The Voice Australia, where she made the Grand Final, Thndo stepped into a new chapter of creative and personal fulfillment as 2023 breathed its first breaths.