Since the release of her wonky Afropop anthem ‘AtalantA’ at the end of January, we’ve been getting rather excited about Rina Mushonga. With her sophomore studio album scheduled for autumn 2017, we caught up with the Dutch-Zimbabwean singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist to discuss her musical origins and influences.

We can’t get enough of ‘AtalantA’. How did the track come about?

“I read Ovid’s Metamorphoses last year because I wanted to write about change and transformation and figured this was a good book to get stuck into and get some inspiration. I was struck by ‘AtalantA’‘s story but the outcome of her story kind of frustrated me (she gets cheated into hitching up with Hippomenes and ends up transformed into a lion). So I wanted to try and reimagine her story where she gets left to run and hunt and be whoever she wants to be without interference.”

How did you start out in music?

“By being stubborn I suppose. When I was younger I had piano lessons and guitar lessons, but I didn’t want to play other people’s songs and mainly wanted to make my own, so I did. Then after tinkering around for a few years I started playing open nights in clubs in Harare with friends and it all just kept going from there in various manifestations.”

Who are the Top 5 biggest influences on your sound right now?

“Yikes, just five!? Kate Bush, Bon Iver, Blood Orange, Yeasayer and a lot of Afropop and Afrobeat (too many to nail it down to just one artist — sorry).”

Any other new artists that you’ve played with and would recommend?

“Not that I’ve played with – as I just moved here so need to make some new music buddies – but there’s definitely some cool new artists out there that I would recommend: John Wizards from Cape Town are so good (I almost put them on the other list), Noname is so cool (is she new?) and Nilufer Yanya. I read about her in The Peckham Pelican and she’s lovely.  They’re all way more famous than me – I need to get my act together!”

And finally, what does 2017 hold for Rina Mushonga?

“I’ll be working on the album, which is set to come out at the end of this year which is pretty exciting. I’ll also be releasing a few more new tracks running up to that and gigging more in my new hometown!”