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This piece is part of the Greylists series: communities sharing the music that brings them together.

Diamond Thug

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Capetown’s Diamond Thug is quickly establishing themselves as one of South Africa’s most prominent independent artists. They’ve landed on the All New Indie and Indie Pop Spotify playlists and earned praise from Lauren Laverene of BBC 6Music. Their development even caught the attention of Grammy Award-winning artist Darryl Torr, who remarked about the band: “When listening to Diamond Thug, you are taken on a journey. It’s the effortless vocals, supported by a solid band that tips you over the edge & pulls you through into their world.”

Diamond Thug gracefully masters the art of dream pop meets space rock, evident on their debut album Apastron (2018). Their latest single “Purple Skies” soothes like a sensual lullaby for adults -- vivid yet simultaneously solemn. Lead vocalist Cantel Van T.’s voice is ethereal, floating with the band’s captivating composition as she sings “I’m not afraid / Anymore.”  

Born out of a time of deep contemplation, “Purple Skies” was written at the dawn of lockdown in Capetown. The entire band was struck by how “the city was quiet and the sudden change in our sense of normalcy sent us into quite a deep dive of personal self-discovery,” Diamond Thug said in a press release. Their last two singles “Empty Streets” and “Backpush” both originated from a time of confusion, but “Purple Skies” is about “coming to terms with the finite nature of our existence, and the fragility of our existence,” -- something we have all been grappling with throughout this time. 

For their Greylist, Diamond Thug selected 10 mellow songs that will surely put you into a state of deep reflection. 

1. “I Am The Changer,” Cotton Jones 

2. “Masterpiece,” Big Thief

3. “We're Gonna Make It,” The Mighty Hanibal

4. “Firesmoke,” Kate Tempest

5. “Aphotic Waters,” Diamond Thug

6. “Advanced Falconry,” Mutual Benefit 

7. “Baltimore,” Nina Simone

8 “Believe,” Amen Dunes

9. “Miracles,” Johnnie Frierson

10. “Empty Streets,” Diamond Thug

You can now listen to “Purple Skies” on all streaming services.

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