Having gone to high school in Pretoria, there was always one school whom we waited to see on the basketball court…Pretoria Boys High School. Little did we think to acknowledge that on their choir were boys with voices like gems. I met Ndumiso ‘Tron’ Phiri through a high school classmate and I have gotten to know him better as a young man and an artist. It is with great pleasure that I get to introduce him to you all as the man behind ‘Burgundy‘ his first full body of work. Tron is a University of Pretoria student studying the a Bachelor of Commerce with no formal training in music, but music is a type of outlet as well as a way for him to create what he wants to see in the world. With a family that is already so full of creativity, Tron is spoiled regarding how creative a space he lives in. Of course as someone who has been listening to unfinished cuts of music and begging him to finally release music to the public, when I found out that his EP would be dropping, of course I had questions!
Q: What made you feel comfortable to start releasing work?
A: Towards the end of matric is when I started recording seriously. That’s when I had the time to really get
into it. I knew people who could help me do what I wanted sonically and I had always been around the actual tools to record, except I didn’t quite know the correct people who knew how to use the equipment. Back then, the lesser quality of my sound took away from my voice and from the music overall. Right now, I feel like I have met the right people, who know what their doing in the studio, regarding where I want my sound to be.
Q: What does a recording session look like for you and what is your fondest memory of recording?
A: I remember once in high school, my choir friends and I recorded a song while I was reading, but kind of singing, my science textbook. For whatever reason, I got on the keys and someone started recording. As much as that was probably a silly song and a silly reason to start recording, it was that sense of belonging in such a musical space that is my most fond memory of recording. As I was recording ‘Burgundy’ my recording sessions were between the sound engineer and myself. I don’t do the whole party in the studio thing, that is strange to me. I get in the studio and just write, everything we do is from scratch, and I couldn’t really do that with too many people in the space. Recording is also about being as close to silence as possible. I mainly work at night, especially with me having to complete my school work before I can record, but it’s also just very quiet in the evenings. I am more relaxed, which helps me focus on creating the type of music I want to put into the universe.
Q: When you’re writing, what are some of the things you consider as you’re putting a song together?
A: My music is pretty much a description of my day. I write about the things I experience, see, and imagine. I don’t necessarily need to be hurt to write about something that hurts, but at the same time you can’t always recreate sentiment. That is as honest as I know how to be. My girlfriend is my muse. When I make music I write the song for myself, but I’m inspired by her. There are a lot of things that I want to hear, but can’t always find the way I want in the world. It’s easy to make a song to get people talking, but if it isn’t honest it doesn’t make sense to me.
Q: What is it exactly that you want to hear in music?
A: I am trying to promote feelings of peace, ease, and calm. The end goal is for the music to be out there for people to be able to connect to each other. If I can inspire someone sonically…well that’s everything to me. We can all make music, we can all write a song, but not in the same way. I like keeping to myself, and the idea of too much attention scares me, but I also want to create in as candid a way as I can.