I joke about how I always expect stars to be late for interviews, and we both laugh. The singer has already had coffee and is having a salad. “You eat salad for breakfast?” I ask.
“It’s mostly what I eat. I’m a vegan,” she says.
“I wanted to see if I could survive without meat and after six months I felt really incredible. I felt light!”
Her vegan diet began three years ago and around the same time that her debut album Love Light came out.
Nothende says at the time she was in love with everything about life.
“It was like a high,” she says. “Now I feel like I’m past that honeymoon phase.
“I feel like I’m relearning me because I’ve asked that question – who am I?”
This is the reason behind the title of her second album Rebirth.
Nothnde, who turns 29 this July, will be performing at the Road to Joy of Jazz concert next Saturday. The line-up also includes Lulu Dikana and Malik.
On her part in the show, Nothende says her theme would be love and freedom.
Without giving too much away she said she will be performing with someone who will help tell the story in a “different” language.
“What language?” I ask. “It’s a world language. I know that sounds too abstract but if I told you it would be a give-away.
“I’m really trying to do it in a way that will capture the minds of the audience.”
Nothende’s musical journey began 10 years ago, having featured on several artists’ albums.
Providing vocals for a song by Kuli Chana was her first foray. While working at Musica back in 2003 she called in to YFM, hosting a singing competition.
“I can’t even remember what the prize was, but I won and they told me to hold the line. They connected me with Lance Sterh from Ghetto Ruff and he said they were having auditions for Gaz’lam.
While Nothende did not attend those auditions, she ended up recording a song with Kuli Chana for the series soundtrack.
Many collaborations followed but Nothende took her time before going solo.
“I wanted to be sure I was happy with the creative aspect of my music.
“I didn’t want to put out an album just because I can sing.”
Tickets for Road to Joy of Jazz concert are available at Computicket.