The winner of the 2018 Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Jazz, Ntuli’s style is greatly influenced by the way her mother expresses herself through her proudly African fashion choices.
Born and raised in Soshanguve, Tshwane, Ntuli’s equally proficient as a pianist, vocalist and composer. Her new album, Exiled, explores the ideas of exile and displacement as a state of being in love, society and spiritually. On it, she’s stretched herself by combining electronic elements in a way that challenged her from a production perspective, and showcases her piano skills over 15 tracks – including the radio hit ‘Cosmic Light’. ‘I see art as an arsenal, and love and music are my weapons of choice,’ she says.
What are you inspired by at the moment?
Mam’ Winnie Madikizela- Mandela’s legacy, the Internet and all the possibilities it presents (even though it poses many challenges to creators), as well as my nieces’ and nephews’ growing minds and the way they’re developing a greater sense of identity.
I love frankincense, sandalwood and white sage incense. I like my soaps fresh, rather than fruity. I love the aroma of coffee, although I’m not a big coffee-drinker, and lemongrass is one of my favourite oils.
Artists’ works you’d like to see hanging on your wall?
Malcolm Jiyane, Lina Iris Viktor and Lady Skollie.
The decor trend you’re loving right now?
I’m not sure if it’s a trend, but plants, plants, plants. I love the way they make my environment feel and I like having my space charged with that good energy.
Most iconic style moment?
When I realised that my mom was way ahead of her time. She wore (and still wears) African cloths with striking prints, doeks and beaded jewellery long before it was ever fashionable. I’ve always known her to dress that way. That affirmation of her love for who she is as an African woman and being comfortable enough to express herself through her fashion choices really inspires me.
An important part of your everyday style? Comfort.
What’s on your decor wish list?
Does a Grammy count as decor!? I adore beautifully carved furniture, so I’d love to have that in my home.
The book that changed your life?
The Go-Giver by Bob Burg and John D Mann, which laid a foundation for how I approach my journey as an entrepreneur. It‘s helped me try my best to operate in a ‘what can I get?’environment with a ‘how can I serve?’ attitude: in that way, I can always be happy with the choices I make. I recommend it to anyone wanting to build an ethos of ethical business practices.
Favourite beauty item?
MAC’s Instigator lipstick. Lipstick is my favourite beauty item, mostly because I don’t wear much make-up on a normal day, other than mascara and some colour on my lips.
Artists (dead or alive) with whom you’d love to collaborate?
Oumou Sangaré, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson and Busi Mhlongo.