It’s not uncommon for an artist to be influenced by the place they grew up in. Yet few are likely to have as much inspiration to draw on as India-born, Zimbabwe-raised and now Peckham-based artist Rina Mushonga.
The singer-songwriter’s nomadic personality is reflected in the vast scale of reference points on her new record, In a Galaxy. It’s technically a follow-up to 2014’s The Wild, the Wilderness, but the newfound boldness on this new work is startling.
The album tends to zigzag from one sound to another. “Good Vacation”, with its woozy, Eighties-influenced synth-based sound and determined, plodding rhythm, recalls Mini Mansions on their latest EP Works Every Time. “4qrtrs” is inspired by Mushonga’s current home in Peckham and shows you around its bustling streets with an upbeat synth line and brazen horns.
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Since that first record, Mushonga has begun to incorporate themes of empowerment into her work. On “AtalantA”, she showcases her muscular vocals, which are capable of switching between an airy lilt to a deep, emotional moan, as she sings lyrics inspired by the Greek hunter goddess who refused to marry. In a Galaxy is a record that takes you far beyond the borders of the world you’re familiar with, and into something altogether more colourful.