Neneh Cherry has always been a rebel. Not one to conform to rules or trends, for over 25 years she has continued to push boundaries and challenge her listeners’ way of thinking. It’s her brutal honesty that has seen her become one of the leading female voices of a generation.
Released last year, Blank Project is her first solo offering in 18 years and Cherry says it was a deep-rooted intuition that led her to write and record the album.
“I always knew I was going to make one and that I wanted to make one. It was never like that I had retired or whatever, it was more like when and where. I suppose it was a series of quite profoundly heavy shit that had happened in my life like my mother dying and stuff.
“A year after that I just knew that I had to. I was compelled to make music and that I needed to. It was just a really important part of actually healing and getting back into life again and it was because it’s such a deep connection that it did end up being really medicinal.”
Cherry admits the overwhelming positive response to Blank Project has been uplifting. “I feel like I have been and am still really being blown away by the reaction and I can’t quite believe half of the time that the whole thing has rolled out the way that it has. It’s been quite a journey.”
Not many artists can boast a body of work that has the ability to not only stand the test of time but one that connects with people on such a profound level.
“I made my own choice to stick by something that maybe isn’t the most commercial work or maybe isn’t necessary going to sell millions of records. But I do think that as an artist I’ve probably made some choices that are, without sounding contrived, maybe more about being more natural and authentic within the music.
“To have quite an authentic relationship to it sometimes means wanting to push the boat out and to try things in a different way and to be challenged by that. I think if that connects people to the music, when they find that interesting and draws them in, that’s just a bonus, but in a way that’s what it’s for.”
Many Australian fans have been waiting two decades for Cherry to tour our country and in February and March the dream will be realised. It is Blank Project which brings her to Australia for the very first time in her career. She says fans should expect the unexpected and is excited to be performing at the Sydney Opera House.
“Yeah, that’s amazing! I can’t actually believe that we’re going to get to play there, I mean, it’s one of the iconic buildings in the world. It’s a really big honour and kind of amazing that we’re going to get to play there.”
‘Blank Project’ is out now. Neneh Cherry tours Australia in March and will appear at Perth Festival, Golden Plains and WOMADelaide. See her solo Australian tour dates below.
Watch: Neneh Cherry – Spit Three Times
Neneh Cherry Australian Tour Dates
Friday, 6th March 2015
Arts Centre Melbourne, Melbourne
Tickets: Arts Centre Melbourne
Wednesday 11th March 2015
Sydney Opera House, Sydney
Tickets: Sydney Opera House