Pressing Questions With Thandi Phoenix

We accost MTV Sounds radio host and musician Thandi Phoenix with a medley of life’s most pressing questions.

Thandi Phoenix is on the rise. Hailing from Newtown, she’s graced much of the country’s music festival circuit including Splendour in the Grass, Bluesfest, WOMADelaide and Spilt Milk; not to mention Triple J’s Like A Version with a haunting cover of Portishead’s “Glory Box”. “I think it’s just a testament to how great a song can be if it can stand the test of time,” Thandi said of the track, released back in 1994.

Yup, Thandi knows that the world’s best music will always be good music, regardless of what decade it was birthed. Which is why she’s such a great pick to co-host MTV Australia’s pop-up radio station, ‘MTV Sounds on iHeart Radio’. Hosting the show alongside Young Franco, the station showcases the best music from each decade of MTV’s existence throughout the month of August – ’80s, ’90s, ’00s and now.

In honour of the new gig, we’ve hit Thandi with all of our pressing questions, and she gave us her thoughts on Tabasco sauce, making herself a morning person and Taika Waititi.

What is the meaning of life?

Enjoy it! Find people and things that bring you joy, surround yourself with them, spread love and kindness and don’t be a dick.

Something COVID taught you

Take nothing for granted.

Last movie you watched

Last but not the first time I’ve watched it. Boy. It’s a New Zealand film written and directed by Taika Waititi – he’s great.

Best advice you’ve received?

If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else?

Someone you really admire

Author. Speaker. Performer. Alok Vaid-Menon. What a ray of sunshine. I love their use of language, unapologetic confidence, self-love and style. It’s authentic and bold – what the world needs more of.

How do you feel about your hair?

I love it! My hair is magic; it’s beautiful and full of character.

Describe yourself in three words

Energetic, determined and versatile.

One person or thing you think is underrated

Chipotle Tabasco. The original may be everywhere (and great), but in my opinion her sister is the star.

Would you rather travel 100 years to the past or the future?

Damn. Why does this question make me feel like I’m going to spiral 😂 The 1920s for a woman of colour? Hmm, count me out. That being said, at the rate we’re going, earth is going to be a wasteland in 100 years. This is getting grim real quick.

OK, let's say it’s an ideal world where leaders have taken climate change seriously, we’ve  switched to renewable energy and stopped bleeding the earth of all its natural resources – take me to the future, bb! COVID who? Where’s my robot? Teleport me to my flying car immediately!

Nature or nurture?

I believe it’s gotta be a combination of both. Humans are too complicated and multifaceted for it to be strictly one or the other.

What do you doubt most?

That I can have one piece of chocolate and stop there.

Daily ritual you couldn't live without

Practising gratitude or affirmations. They keep me grounded, present and positive.

How are you at 8am?

Naturally I’m more of a night owl. But I've trained myself to function with the rest of society. Pre-lockdown – when I had a proper schedule – I would try to get up between 7 or 8am to go to the gym and get the day rolling. But during lockdown I definitely slip back into some of my old habits.

Something you're passionate about

Food. Glorious food!

Tell us about your new gig with MTV Sounds

Young Franco and I are now radio hosts on I heart radio! Every week in August we’re going back through the decades starting with the ’80s and the birth of MTV. We’ll be reminiscing through the decades and the impact of music on our culture.

Pick your favourite decade for music from the 80s, 90s, 00s or the 10s? And tell us why you love it?

It would have to be the '90s! I may be biased as a '90s baby, but c'mon! The music, the fashion, the advancement in technology and the explosion of pop culture –  the ’90s was popping!

Watch Back & Beyond MTV (Foxtel: 122, Fetch: 104 and Sky: 015) and MTV Hits (Foxtel: 801, Fetch: 237 and Sky: 022) every Saturday in August.

Listen to MTV Sounds on iHeartRadio all August.

More good interviews:

Pressing Questions With Young Franco 

Pressing Questions With Maple Glider

Pressing Questions With Linda Marigliano

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