Why the singer-songwriter had no interest in a duet with Nicki Minaj

With her father, a percussionist from Sierra Leone, her Swedish artist mother and her jazz musician stepfather, Don Cherry, she grew up in Sweden and then in New York before fleeing alone to London at the age of 15. . -80s post-punk scene, undertaking stints in bands such as The Slits and Rip Rig + Panic before the worldwide hit single Buffalo Stance fueled the success of Raw like sushi.

Appearing poised for pop stardom, Cherry instead opted to experiment on two later ’90s albums and was determined to merge her music, motherhood and family.

“I always thought that having a home base, a family and a purpose in life was going to be the basis of everything,” she explains. “It’s much more interesting if you’re able to be a more complete human being rather than just this kind of empty shell that looks great!”

Her juggling between music and motherhood finally stopped in 1996 following the release of the third album, Women, which coincided with the birth of the third daughter. Aside from a few standout appearances (with Gorillaz, Peter Gabriel, Groove Armada and more), she’s focused on her family. His next solo album proper will not arrive until 2014, produced by Four Tet The blank project; Broken policy followed in 2018.

Versions continues Cherry’s running family theme – literally and figuratively. Besides Tyson’s appearance, Cherry has known Swedish artist Robyn for three decades, while Sia lived with Cherry and McVey during the dark times of her life, describing McVey as a mentor and “bonus dad”.


Reluctantly forced to choose album favorites, Cherry eventually settles on Tyson’s jazzy version Impertinent (“Yeah, OK, that’s my girl!”), Robyn slows down Buffalo Stance Anohni’s anthem Women and the poetics of Seinabo Sey Kisses on the wind.

“Sometimes I’m in a cab,” she says wistfully, “and one of my old tracks randomly comes on, and it takes me back there, which is great. But it takes me to the future, and I love it.

Neneh Cherry – Versions is out now.

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