31 RE­VIEW 32 MEAL PLAN­NER 35 MATT PRE­STON

Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar - - Front Page - Bro­ken Pol­i­tics is out now. Neneh Cherry will per­form at the Syd­ney Fes­ti­val on Jan­uary 15 and 16; visit syd­neyfes­ti­val.org.au.

Aus­tria meets Oz at a new café-bak­ery.

You grew up in a creative fam­ily, the daugh­ter of artists and mu­si­cians. Do you ever won­der what life would be like if you’d been raised by an ac­coun­tant and a doc­tor? When I was young I would wish we were nor­mal and lived in a bun­ga­low. But now I’m very con­scious of the rich­ness the world I grew up in has given me. I feel so blessed that my stepdad and mother, but also my fa­ther [were so com­mit­ted] to their art and life. And I feel more and more that ev­ery­thing I am now goes back to those roots. Your 1989 song ‘Buf­falo Stance’ was an in­ter­na­tional hit. What was in­stant fame like? It was amaz­ing. There were huge billboards of [her de­but al­bum] Raw Like Sushi, and [I re­mem­ber] hear­ing ‘Buf­falo Stance’ pour­ing out of some­one’s car. I was like, “Wow, this is crazy.” But I never chose to live for it. I was like, this is hap­pen­ing now but this is not why I do what I do. Get­ting this stuff is not what’s go­ing to make the mu­sic good. Ru­mour has it you pro­posed to your hus­band Cameron Mcvey. I did. We were out some­where, at this crazy club that we used to go to in Lon­don, just hav­ing a re­ally good time. Then lit­er­ally, I don’t know, I just looked at him and was like, “Oh my god, I think I need to marry you. Will you marry me?” It was af­ter Raw Like Sushi and we had also lost two of our clos­est friends – it was a re­ally hard time. So we were like, we need to cel­e­brate life and what th­ese peo­ple gave us and get to­gether with all of our peo­ple – not at a fu­neral. So we had this mas­sive great wed­ding, and it was one of the best days of my life. At 2019’s Syd­ney Fes­ti­val, you’ll be per­form­ing songs from your new al­bum Bro­ken Pol­i­tics. Why do you bring pol­i­tics into your mu­sic? It would feel ridicu­lous not to. Of course, there’s been a lot of mu­sic made where peo­ple are sing­ing about money and phones and cars and women’s bod­ies in a deroga­tory way… But when you hit an era where there is po­lit­i­cal stress and dark­ness, there’s al­ways a shift in the sound of mu­sic. Maybe it be­comes more edgy; for me, hip-hop has al­ways been very po­lit­i­cal. It’s re­ally im­por­tant we’re re­spond­ing in what­ever way we can. So does mak­ing mu­sic about is­sues help you make your peace with them? So-called pol­i­tics has noth­ing to do with sur­vival or peo­ple or mak­ing the world a bet­ter place – which is why it’s break­ing. Women are now tak­ing up more space and [draw­ing] more at­ten­tion to the fact that [things are] un­fair and un­bal­anced. It’s enough to make you want to start a riot. I was raped when I was 15 and it’s af­fected my whole life. I’ve some­times found my­self talk­ing about it in a com­pletely de­tached way. But at that young age I didn’t want it to de­stroy me; I re­fused. I got up and got on with it. Which also meant I maybe didn’t deal with it prop­erly. You’re 54 and have three daugh­ters. What wis­dom have you im­parted to them? We in­flu­ence each other; they teach me lots of stuff, too, so it’s a give and take. But mainly to be proud of who they are. It’s hard be­ing a young woman, we all spend too much f*ck­ing time hat­ing on our­selves, and hat­ing our bod­ies. So my thing is: don’t let them change you. You are beau­ti­ful and valid. Go and tell your story.

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