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Tina Mweni: “Hip hop breaks discrimination”

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Born in Kenya, rapper/singer/poet/dancer and choreographer Tina Mweni immigrated to Denmark, where she made herself known in 2010 with the TV show Denmark’s Got Talent. Now based in Marseille, France, the artist told us about her vision of hip hop and her inspirations. 

When and how did you discover hip hop?

In the 90’s when I came to Denmark, the few black people I met were listening to rap music. They had different tapes from MC Hammer to A tribe Called Quest, that’s when I learned some basic hip hop dance moves. At that time I didn’t know it was hip hop, but something about the cultural tolerance, the beats and freedom within it got me hooked.

You’re a singer, a rapper, a poet a dancer and a choreographer. What would you say all these activities have in common ?

Expression, honesty, individuality and inventions. The ability to inspire.

How would you describe your music to people who never heard it before?

Without category and sincere.

You were born in Kenya and then immigrated to Copenhagen, Denmark and live in Marseille now. How do your Kenyan origins influence your music?

Technically, it inspires me to think outside of the box, but it also reminds me to never forget where I came from, which was humble beginnings.

Your track Groupthink refers to a term that expresses how people who disagree with a group tend to remain silent. Would you say “groupthinking” is encouraged in our contemporary society?

Unfortunately yes, more than we’re aware about.

Do you think hip hop can be a political tool? 

Hip hop breaks discrimination, creates jobs and connects people regardless of social classes.

Do you consider yourself a feminist? 

Without adding much consideration to it, I discovered that I was a feminist because I thought that a non-violent and respectful approach towards people didn’t have a gender.

Who are your female role models and why?

Lauryn Hill because she is true to herself, Nina Simone because she was fearless, Jill Scott because she masters her craft, Erykah Badu because she is original at all times and Michelle Obama because she is an example that being an intelligent woman is fly!

What are your upcoming projects?

My album Nakiyimba, Dou with Jonathan Soucasse and a collaboration with Christophe Dal Sasso.

What do you think of Madame Rap? What should be changed or improved?

I love y’all!! You’re empowering and strong. Just keep on, cause together we’re stronger!

Find Tina Mweni on her website,  Facebook and YouTube.

© Msv-foto

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