Nonku Phiri: I'm not in the game for instant gratification

Nonku Phiri says she will be releasing a new project this year.
Nonku Phiri says she will be releasing a new project this year.
Image: Supplied

Musician Nonku Phiri may be the daughter of late Stimela music legend Ray Phiri, but she is determined to do this music thing at her own pace and on her own terms.

The star is all about embracing different music "experiences", which led her to accepting a gig on Friday at Untitled in Braamfontein Johannesburg.

The star has performed several times in Braam but told TshisaLIVE that every show brings its own unique energy and preparation.

It is a home gig for the Things We Do On The Weekend hitmaker who has spent the last two years between SA and the world.

In 2017 she was selected for a OneBeat fellowship in the US that saw her move to New York for a short residency.

"It was an amazing experience but I don't think it changed the way I make music. I think it refined it and taught me how to hone my skills and become more comfortable with it."

The residency exposed her to a new market and Nonku hasn't looked back since, becoming one of Mzansi's most impressive exports.

Like other pioneers Nakhane and Petite Noir, Nonku has carved out an audience around the world with her unique sound but is in no hurry to release music.

She took a break from the spotlight several months ago to create music, travel and express herself through other art mediums.

"I am an independent artist. I don't create for instant gratification. So I took some time for myself, to explore and find inspirations. I took time to travel. I took time to write. I am not on a schedule or restricted to anything that being on a label would mean."

The good news is that after what seems like eternity, Nonku is going to drop some new material this year.

"It was supposed to have happened last year but I have been working hard and collaborating. My music has always grown organically because I know who I am and what I want. Nothing will change, that's who I am."

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