Thandi Ntuli Balances Her Craft with Increasing Demands


Do you feel affirmed as an artist in some way because Exiled is being released in Japan?

“Affirmed” is not the word. I think it’s different to have your music exist digitally in a country and to have it distributed physically—knowing that there’s a record label that really loves your stuff, that thinks it’s gonna work in the territory and that actively wants to help in the marketing of it. I think that’s a very different space to be in. It just means that there’s someone who’s identified something that they think would work in that market. And [Japan’s] always been a place I’d wanted to visit, for years. It just makes it seem closer in reach.

How has performing been, given your higher profile? I mean, you sold out two nights at the Market Theatre.

That blew my mind. I have seen gigs that I’ve done in smaller venues that pack up, but I never knew that there were so many people that would be interested in the gig. And the thing I loved is that I didn’t see many familiar faces. So, it just said to me that there are other people that I’m not reaching, because of the spaces that I always play at. The rising profile thing is a bit ... it’s like, everything moved so fast. I’m always having this thing of trying to balance the demands of that—more people wanting to profile you, speak to you, interview—and also still being able to put the time into my craft. I don’t want to become an artist that has a profile without the goods to show. DB

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June 2023
James Brandon Lewis
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