She’s the child that grew up sitting on the knees of Miles Davis, the child that counted Allen Ginsberg as a family friend. In the house Neneh grew up in, there were many topics of interest, mainly musical but the young Swede could not find her way, so she decided to leave her family, her house and her homeland. She moves to London and gets her big break in 1989 when her debut album Raw Like Sushi hits the shelves.
Miss Cherry is beautiful, she can carry a rhyme, has a good singing voice, keeps it tight with the Bristol scene, wears flight jackets, leggings and oversized gold jewelry. First to dash out of her debut album is Buf- falo Stance, a track that cements her place as the ultimate B-girl and gets hailed as a house anthem. Manchild follows, less of a hit, less of a dance track, but still in tune with the times, as Cherry does what she does best. With a baby in her arms, she points the finger at the man that refuses to grow up, to take responsibility for his actions and who ultimately has lit- tle respect for himself.
With an added rawness and a stronger sense of aggression than during her time in the pre and early 90s, Neneh Cherry’s presence pins you down and when you get past the fact that all you want to do is stare at her as she struts and parades on screen, you start to listen to her lyrics; lyrics that tell us to respect ourselves, to never wait for others to act for us. Something that reminds me of a motto coined by the founder of a famous cosmetics company, which said that she never dreamt of success, she always worked towards actually attaining it.
Cherry herself, who is not as productive, has just come out with her fourth solo album. Now in her 50s, she continues to be as simple and emblematic as ever. No longer living in hippy communes, no longer a part of the Bristol wild bunch, but amongst it and as with every return, hers too is a brand new, optimistic beginning. I hope that in my 50s, I will still be with the person I am currently with, so we can try our hand at our very own new beginnings.