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In The Making Artist Nandi

Style of Music: R&B fused with Afrobeats and Amapiano.

From: I was born Zimbabwe and moved to London when I was 11 years old.

Which artists are you influenced by?
My influences are Chaka Khan, Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, Brenda Fassie, Miriam Makeba, Hugh Masekela, Floetry, Whitney, Mariah and so many more. I am currently listening to Anderson Paak, H.E.R, Cleo Sol, Little Simz, SZA, Black Coffee, Tems, Rema and Mack Keane.

How did you hear about In the Making?
I saw an ad on Instagram and decided to apply. Cassell is an awesome producer and knowing the prestige of the Ivors and PPL and how much I needed support with my career, it was a no brainer.

What experience in music did you have prior to starting the Inside Track programme?
I have been working in the music industry for 15 years, collaborating with other artists and producers as well as doing backing vocals and session work for artists such as Jack Bruce, Maverick Sabre, NAO and Cormega to name a few. I had a small catalogue of music I wrote for myself, but never released it, But in 2020 I felt the impetus to start releasing music under my own name. Have thus far released 2 songs and this summer will be releasing a few more which I'm very excited about.

Describe your journey on the programme
My journey on the programme has been incredibly beneficial. I started the programme knowing what I know has brought me to this point - but I needed a team of mentors to help me get to the next level. We started with a photoshoot where we got to meet the other talent as well as the team. From that day I have felt an incredible amount of support in a very practical way.

Through the programme we have amazing press shots to use for gigs and press releases, new music we created with Cassell, Joy and Eric which sound incredible and had the chance to have a listening session with industry professionals at Qube who gave us great feedback. We have had work shops around publishing and making money from our music which will really enable us to navigate the music industry as independent artists. Most recently we attended The IVORS which was insanely inspirational, not only going down the red carpet but hearing insights around song writing from the likes of Raye, Kamille and STING. It was such a momentous and priceless experience and this wouldn't have happened without the support of The Ivors.

How has In the Making helped you as an artist?
From learning to trust the process of creating a song from scratch to being completely out of my comfort zone with Joy and her incredible vocal arranging, going from the mood board to a full-on photoshoot to now preparing for the live show, these are experiences that have given me a deeper insight to life as an artist.

It has been an amazing journey seeing myself be able to rise to the different challenges and helping me see that I am more than ready to step out as an artist and take my career to the next level. Cassell has been a great mentor moving through the different stages of the programme and very excited to start working on creating the live show as I love the songs we created and look forward to sharing them with a live audience.

The main benefits are having physical assets like press shots, music I can release and an abundant network of contacts in the music industry that are invaluable for the access to opportunities and vital advice that come with their expertise and experiences. Having only been doing music full time for the last 9 months, these benefits have come at a crucial time in my career and I feel I'm being sign posted in the right direction from the first instance.

I would've have needed an immense amount of funding to secure to a stylist, photographer, studio time and access to artists such as Cassell, Joy and Eric as well as the industry professionals that have donated their time to sit through workshops with us.

What’s the biggest thing you’ve learned or achieved on the programme?
The biggest lesson which has been re-affirmed is that my life experience is my greatest asset when song writing. I lost my aunt during the writing week and it was such a challenge to be in writing sessions while mourning. Cassell was very patient and made space for me while all I could think of was this feeling of loss and grief, so that's what we wrote about.

Having a safe space in the studio to be super vulnerable is very important as you don't know what could come out of you. Going forward I’ll be sure to allow what is important to me to be expressed, as it was not only cathartic but so many people can relate to it and it's healing to be able to pay tribute to those you've loved and lost. Music really is healing!

What’s your favourite track you’re working on and why?
Ha ha ha ... I just spoke about it above. It's Breathe, that's my favourite song for two reasons. I got to memorialise the family members I've lost forever with this song and they are the reason I am who I am so it's incredibly meaningful to me for that reason. The second reason is I got to use my voice in a way I haven't before, but is very much a tribute to the greats that are the reason I sing.

Joy really saw the potential of my voice and helped me express myself so deeply using vocal lines reminiscent of artists like Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan and Patti LaBelle and Tina Turner. These are the artists whose shoulders I stand upon and it feels like I am carrying on their legacy with the stye of vocal delivery I was able to achieve on the song.

Can you give an interesting fact about yourself?
I am obsessed with musical theatre which is larger than life and uber expressive - and I have been told that I am this way in everyday life. My favourites are Stormy Weather, Guys and Dolls, Sweet Charity and last but not by any means least Lion King which I have auditioned for at least 3 times and ONE DAY I will play Nala, that would be the most amazing thing to achieve. I have acted in the past but I am not trained so this is something I would love to do someday.

What would you like to be doing in two years’ time?
In two years’ time I would like to have released an album and completed a world tour with my solo music. Written a song that has appeared on the next Black Panther film and be working towards my second album and subsequent world tour. If we are talking specifically this time in two years, then rehearsing for festival season with my all female live band and dancers performing at Glastonbury, Radio 1 Big Weekender, Wireless, Isle of Wight, Parklife and Creamfields to name a few.

What would you say to others trying to get into the music industry?
Fail fast: having standards is great but allowing perfection to be the enemy of progress will stop you putting yourself out there, and the feedback that is needed to help you grow is on the other side of performing often and making mistakes. I didn't release music under my own name because I was petrified it would mean I'm a failure if anything I release doesn't chart at number 1. When in fact I stole my own chances of building my fan base earlier and allowing my audience to grow with me and witness my musical journey and evolution.

Go to as many open mics and collaborate with as many people as it takes to find your creative tribe. Also apply for funding if you are an independent artist, if you have released music join IVORS, PPL and PRS etc so you can have a support network and collect your royalties. This is very important!

Check out Nandi's performance from Inside Track Live here

Where can people find out more about you?

I'm most active on Instagram so come find me there and I'll list the other visual spaces I reside too...

Social Media links