Chopping It Up with the super talented South African based House Music dj, vocalist and producer Thandi Draai, we talk music, life and more. Welcome Thandi Draai On Our SpotLight!
Big Up and thank you for coming through for this one on one. Can you kick things off by telling us who is Thandi Draai and where is she from?
In short and sweet lol ,Thandi Draai is obsessed with music. I am a music producer, vocalist and DJ all the way from KZN.
Growing up, how would you describe your childhood and what sort of challenges you had to go through and conquer as a young Thandi Draai?
My early childhood memories were filled with a lot of violence, confusion and a lot of pain. I eventually got taken away from my home as it was not safe and lived in a children’s home (G.C.F) for most of my life working through all the darkness I came from and music freed me. Music was everything to me growing up it still is… Hello lol.
How did you get into music and are you from coming from a musical family? Are there any other earlier musical influences in your life?
Lol I don’t come from like a professional musical family lol, Yo ‘’I wish’’. I got into music because of the way it made me feel. I discovered at a very young age the beauty and power music has and ever since I have never turned back. G.C.F (Give a Child a Family) also encouraged us to sing and dance to gain self-esteem etc. and my late foster mom and I loved listening to classic musicals so music was always around me, I was listening and feeling.
What does House Music mean to Thandi Draai, and out of all the music genres out there what made you choose House Music?
House music to me means magic. I cannot describe how house music makes me feel it’s indescribable you have to feel it Qha! Yo Why House Music, I feel House music is a genre that welcomes every other genre of music in its house. House music effortlessly accommodates every genre under the sun uniting all people under one sound. Magic I tell you!
How would you describe the Thandi Draai’s sound and what would you say is the inspiration behind such sound?
Lol shuuuuu, ummmmmmm I can’t explain my sound myself so much inspires me from the negative to the positives of life. With every song I do whether its production, Dj mixes or vocals I go with what I’m feeling and trying to express at that time. One thing I am obsessed about and is evident in my music is the groove I love our rich African instruments, rhythms and vocal styles. Right now I’m writing a lot about healing and positive prospective in the broken system we consume on the daily.
You are making serious moves this year and Big Up on your banging release LoMhlaba with Cee ElAssaad. How did that come about and how?
Thank you. Cee Elassad and I met in Amsterdam in 2019 and I guess we just enjoyed each other’s artistic vibe and pure love of music. We clicked and clicked even more in studio, then Jiki Jiki we challenged each other a few months later on Lomhlaba and now we are here. We have more nice things loading. But for now thank you to everybody who is listening and feeling our music.
Not only are you pushing the boundaries in your music career, but also charity work is close to your heart. Can you please tell us more about that?
Well ‘’CHARITY WORK’’, is close to my heart because once upon a time from a very young age I was thrown in a very dark deep end of man’s cruelty, as most of you can relate. But I was given a better chance of survival at G.C.F (Give a Child a Family). I was given a chance to experience a safe home, family, food lol, education and everyday basic needs and survival skills in these cruel times. We have launched my #HOPE4TOMORROW campaign in hopes of giving more children the same chance I was given. We not only asking for financial assistance and donations our #HOPE4TOMORROW campaign challenges our communities to get involved to help us fight GBV/VAC and talk and face the uncomfortable situations in our everyday life, a better tomorrow starts with us facing our demons so our kids won’t have to!
Moving forward, what does Thandi Draai hope to achieve with her charity work?
I don’t really look at it as Charity work. It’s more like I’m fighting for my family at G.C.F and for a better tomorrow. We are evolving in a dark chaotic world and the injustice has been killing us, we do not want to be a part of that world. If we don’t rise against the chaos who will? It will eventually hit home as we are bullied and driven by a broken system. I have to share my past for all those little boys and girls to know I am them and look what I am currently doing with the pain that I endured and still endure. We have to do better as people, homes, foster homes, GBV, and VAC shouldn’t even have to be a thing, those are our children, our moms, grans, aunties, sisters, and girlfriends who are a #tag away from becoming a victim. We need to fertilize a better future. I am here to talk about all the things we don’t want to talk about as I have gone through most of humanities cruelty and I’m still healing and learning self-love so I can love myself and my brothers and sisters more.
This year promises to be great one in terms of music. Are the any projects on the pipeline we can expect from you this year as well?
All I’m going to say is you are all about to feel more music from me. I’m so excited to share and unleash some of the powerful projects I am apart of!
Your five tracks you currently feeling and why?
In no specific Order this list of music makes me feel unexplainable feelings lol. You just have to feel it Qha 😉
- Robbie Robertson_ Remembrance
- Bon Ivar_ Moon Water
- Cee ElAssaad & Thandi Draai_Lomhlaba
- Ivory White, Boddhi Satva and Ahmed Sosso_Farafina
- Thandi Draai_ Amandla
To close things off, what advice would you give to young woman out there who is looking at following your path?
Love yourself, respect yourself and protect yourself this industry can be cruel if you entertain the dark side of things either then that. Practice makes you stronger, study your craft and business side of things. Have fun and be fearless. We are individually unique and that’s your power be you! Make your own rules.
To support my campaign ‘Hope for Tomorrow’ for the children at GCF, please follow the link: www.givengain.com/cc/hope4tomorrow/
A LITTLE BIT ABOUT GIVE A CHILD A FAMILY
The Place of Restoration Trust, operating as Give a Child a Family, was registered in 1992 and functions as a place of safety for children who have been orphaned, abandoned, neglected, abused or are at risk in any way. They provide a safe environment, age-appropriate therapy, healthcare and early childhood development education. Even though GIVE A CHILD A FAMILY is a safe haven for children, the organisation strongly believes children belong in families, and in some cases, like Thandi, it was not in the best interest for her to go back to her family from which she was removed. The foster care programme which was started in 2002, recruits, assesses screens and trains prospective foster parents to ensure that the children have safe and nurturing families to be placed into, once they are ready to be reintegrated back into society.
For More Information about Give A Child A Family: https://www.gcf.org.za