Taking pride in being a “global citizen” electronic/afro-pop artist Rina Mushonga is a worldwide talent that should be on everyone’s radar. For most of her life, Mushonga has traveled, living in India, Zimbabwe, and The Netherlands before settling down in London. With each country leaving a lasting mark, her sound and artistry has evolved and changed to what it is today, eclectic, unique and boundless.
It’s been four years since she gained recognition with her 2014 debut album The Wild, The Wilderness. Mushonga has made a triumphant return and she is better than ever with her latest album In A Galaxy.
When it came to her influences for the record she cites Santigold, Solange, Blood Orange, the poem Metamorphoses by the Roman poet Ovid and more as major game changers for the record.
We got a chance to chat with the Rina Mushonga to talk about everything from her creative process, musical influences and more…
It seems as though Peckham has had a big influence on you… how do you think it has influenced your music?
I think Peckham’s inspired me so much because it sort of brings together bits and pieces of all the places I’ve lived – I like the community spirit here and the multiculturalism is something I really identify with I guess. Living in a suburb of a big global metropolis kind of gives you two perspectives at the same time – how huge the world is but also how interconnected we are. I think all of those vibes and ruminations helped fuel the themes on the album and helped embolden me to express all these different parts of myself into this music I’ve been waiting to make for a long time.
You’ve lived in India, Zimbabwe and the Netherlands, how have these places brought uniqueness to your music?
I suppose my music is ‘unique’ because I am ‘unique’ – to what extent growing up in these different places has had an impact on my music? I suppose it’s cultivated a sense of openness and an eagerness to mix things up. I guess also my pallet of references has maybe been broadened more than if I’d just grown up in one place.
What is your favourite part of the creative process?
That’s a tough one – there’s different parts of the process I really enjoy – I like the initial solitary part when it’s just me and a midi keyboard and a laptop layering and layering and layering and experimenting with sounds and textures and melodies. But I also love fleshing it out with Frans (Verburg — co-producer) when it’s the two of us building and expanding or sometimes eliminating or turning what I’ve done totally on it’s head…that can be really exciting when you think you’re totally done with writing a song and then one note or turn of phrase can send you down a totally different rabbit hole.
Who would be your dream collaboration?
My dream collaboration would be with someone like Justin Vernon. He’s worked on so many different kinds of musical projects and he’s just such an agile and inspiring musician and artist — I think I’d feel inspired and safe making music with someone like him.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
I’d love to play more in the States if I ever got the opportunity and just generally share my music with more of the world. I’d also see myself working on more writing for different kinds of projects maybe, dance-theatre or film would be awesome and working with different artists — haha — busy I guess 😉
Make sure to check out Rina Mushonga’s album In a Galaxy!