'I have the freedom to let my creativity flow': five minutes with Shardenay Thompson

'I give it my all. I don't have a formula, I just try my best in everything'

19 June 2024 - 11:48
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Shardenay Thompson is a star on the rise. In her matric year, she says school always comes first.
Shardenay Thompson is a star on the rise. In her matric year, she says school always comes first.
Image: Supplied

Shardenay Thompson is on a mission to cement her name in the music scene. The strides she's made in her career have been a build-up to that achievement.

The 17-year-old songstress from Durban has just unveiled her latest single Come Closer. Shardenay got a nod from the legendary house music maestro Harrison Crump, who features on the track.

"I hope people just enjoy the good vibes and want to dance! I'm truly amazed by the love I've received so far – people singing my lyrics back to me feels incredible. But if this song resonates with you on a personal level, even more importantly, it reminds us to acknowledge and embrace our feelings, whether it's a little crush or a big one," she said.

Shardenay did a Q&A session with TshisaLIVE on the strides she's been making in the music industry and her future plans. 

Your vocals on Come Closer are described as "velvety" and "effortless". How do you approach the process of recording and bringing your unique sound to life in the studio?

"I write the lyrics and prepare the melody before I go into the studio, usually in my bathroom at home (my favourite creative space!). In the studio, I give it my all and let my heart guide me, even if it sounds a bit corny. I'm grateful that I have the freedom to let my creativity flow, and I always make the most of that opportunity."

Durban seems to be a significant influence on your music. How does the city and its vibrant energy inspire your songwriting and artistic vision?

"I love Durban so much. Every time I perform at gigs or see other artists on stage, I'm blown away by the richness and energy of the city's culture. The people's passion for music and their well-developed vocals inspire me to constantly grow vocally, whether it's learning riffs or vocal exercises, or just belting it out in my bathroom."

Balancing a burgeoning music career with your matric year must be challenging. Can you share some insights into how you manage your time and stay focused on your goals?

"School always comes first for me. I'm very involved, helping at functions and performing at ceremonies. I've had to compartmentalise my life when it comes to school, family, music and everything else. My goal is to take everything that comes at me and give it my all. I don't have a specific formula, I just try my best in everything."

Looking ahead, you have plans to release an EP before the end of 2024. Can you give us a glimpse into what we can expect from this project and how it will showcase your growth as an artist?

"The songs on the EP will include some from my archive and some brand new ones. Overall, I feel it will showcase my growth in terms of vocals, songwriting and the development of my sound. I'm really excited for it to be released. There will be hints of self-love, heartbreak, even trilingual aspects and much more."

Beyond music, you're described as the epitome of resilience and determination, raised by a single mother alongside your sibling. How has your upbringing influenced your approach to your music and life in general?

"I absolutely adore my mother, and everything I do is for her. I hope to become even half the woman she is. She inspires me daily and is my biggest source of support and love. She's taught me to keep going even when I doubt myself — to keep writing."



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