Interview by ARMC | Edited by Reggie Rasodi

In the vibrant world of music, emerging talents often bring a fresh and captivating energy to the forefront. One such artist making waves is Phiwo, a talented singer-songwriter who has not only captured hearts with their soulful melodies but is also currently making a mark as a contestant on the MTN Pulse Virals show. Join us on a journey through the artistry of Phiwo, as we explore the passion, creativity, and musical prowess that define this rising star.

Please introduce yourself and share a little about your journey in the music industry?

My name is Phiwo. 24, Born and bred in Durban, South Africa now based in Pretoria. I’ve always been an artist, from visual art (drawing, sculpting and painting) to performance art(singing, dancing and acting) but I started writing music at 17 for fun. I chose to take music seriously as a career in first year while at AFDA. I started recording music professionally for release outside of school in my third year, 2020. I then released that song (Never Playin’ ft Miles) on all digital platforms in 2021, just before graduation. Since then I have been featured in over 10 songs, released 2 singles and 2 solo EPs (Letters, 2021 and Things We Feel, 2023), a collab EP with Adrienne Foo (NMBRS, 2021).

What motivated you to choose music as your career path?

Between acting and music, I had more to learn with music as a major since I had already learnt a bit about acting in high school. So I chose to study and pursue music as my career of choice.

Please share a moment when you felt empowered as a woman in the music industry, and how did that shape your career?

Black women in the very male dominated space that is the entertainment industry have been taking their power back and redirecting the focus on them lately. Watching the change happen in real time has been inspiring. Black women are breaking records in my time. It keeps me motivated to do better and work harder so I too can be in these kinds of conversations.

Representation matters. How has the concept of representation influenced your career, and what approach do you aspire to adopt in the music industry to serve as a positive example for future generations?

Representation has made me realise that I can do anything I put my mind to. Seeing black women who look like me succeed makes me want to work harder so I too can succeed as they have. And I hope I will do the same for creative black children who will come after me.

Collaboration is key in the music world. Could you tell us about a memorable collaboration with another talented woman and what you learned from the experience?

My collab EP with Adrienne Foo was my first experience with creating a project outside of the school environment. Having to work with another voice on more than one song was a great way of learning what more my voice could do. I will always be grateful for her and the project.