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.
Returning to stages and the studio, reconnecting with her love for creating music and feeding life’s recent experiences into her process, thndo breaks out into a New Year more driven than before.
“Her persona on stage was radiating with soul and richness”- Isaac Liew, AU Review
“Winning plenty of fans with her captivating live performances”- Simon Clark, AU Review
“Sikwila is not just a prodigy of the jazz and soul styles, she is the embodiment of the genres’ most prolific spirits” – Joe Dolan, The Music