Neneh Cherry Q+A

Posted by Kay

1. What is your earliest beauty memory?Neneh on her bike800


My earliest make up memory is also recorded by some photos which help add colour to the memory bank. A dear artist/film maker friend of my mother’s Marie-Louise Ekman (then De Geer) took the photos.
I was 4 years old in full make up. Toy watches-loads of them on my arms. Eyeliner, lips, lashes painted onto eyelids, and a magic black spot in eye pen just to the right of my nose over my mouth.

I remember (more than anything else that day) wanting a black spot like that. I loved it, when I was 7 I got one!

In my 1st grade school pic it’s not there, but in my 2nd grade one it started to appear…
I can’t really remember noticing the mole I’d wished to materialize. One day it was just there but now, I wouldn’t know myself without it.
Neneh 800



2. I feel most beautiful when…….

Feeling your own beauty is a subtle, almost sacred thing. Sometimes I feel sad by how low my self esteem has been throughout my life. I look at pictures from my youth and see myself in a way that I couldn’t feel and appreciate in the moment. Thinking I was fat when- oh my  god- was just a young wee thing….hmmm.

Moki 800

Neneh’s mother Moki

But there is another side to the coin-freedom. Freedom felt through music for instance. That kind of empowerment is beautifying. I have fed off it much. My friends make me beautiful. My daughters, my grandson, my man. Dancing really hard with people I love. Being in love. Making love. Giving love- getting older, accepting unavoidable decay. I’m looking forward to the future times ahead…good food. And of course, great hair and make up!



3. When you were a child, what was your Mother’s beauty routine?


For nearly as long as I can remember my mother had hennaed hair, a deep, deep red. I can also see in my mind’s eye Moki (my mum) putting mascara on with a little brush from a box . You had to add water first then apply-really old school.

A lot of my mother’s beautifying was about the clothes she made and wore, all created by her. Truly original.
She was a very creative human, she used to say “I am a fiend for beauty”. Oh yeah, she always had red or burgundy lipstick.

Neneh CherryMoki+Neneh 800


4 Is make-up a chore or a delight?Neneh-Cherry1


I don’t really wear make-up everyday so when I’m being made up for work etc I love it!! It’s like a face lift. Having said that, red lips on days when I’m consumed by dullness works a treat! So no, it’s not really a chore.. 

5. Did your father refer to your Mother’s beauty, and how?

Oh yeah he would always say she is the “baddest” woman there is….:-)).

Told us on many occasions about the first time he saw her in Stockholm in 1963 rollins_2(my dad came to play with jazz legend Sonny Rollins right).

FGather Don Cherry

Don Cherry

Don Cherry

Don Cherry

Don Cherry

Don Cherry

Don (my dad below) spotted my mother in the audience, hair cut super short, Bamboo framed glasses, maroon leather mini pinafore skirt.

Neneh's father, Jazz legend Don Cherry

Neneh’s father, Jazz legend Don Cherry

He said he’d never seen anything like it….like her before…




6. What’s been your worst beauty mishap (or simply a memorable one)?

Oh god…getting ready to do kids TV somewhere outside of London. Hideously early on a Saturday morning- pregnant (Buffalo Stance days). The TV make-up lady destroyed me- I mean she killed it (not in a good way). Don’t think she had ever made up a person with any colour before! I looked like a was going on a minstrel show!  Judy Blame (legendary stylist/accessory designer) took a rag and wiped it off. The show had to go on- me with no make up….!!

 Beauty Gifts


Beauty Gifts

7. If you could give one beauty gift what would it be? 

Inner Peace




8. What’s the craziest place you’ve ever done your make-up in?

In the dark.


 9. What would you like to see more of in the beauty industry?

Healthier products.


10. When was the last time your mascara ran, and why?

Watching ’12 Years a Slave’ the other day with my daughter Mabel. I took lots of toilet roll from the loo into the theatre.

Cried a river ….smeared mascara.


NEEH CHERRY NENEH CHERRY NENEHYou can buy Neneh’s new album ‘The Blank Project’ here


Follow Neneh on twitter



2 thoughts on “Neneh Cherry Q+A

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  1. Denice cox

    Love neneh music

    February 27, 2014 at 6:38 am
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  3. […] My new hero, Neneh Cherry, daughter to Don Cherry who Patrick introduced to me last month and her mother is the artist Moki Cherry… […]

    March 11, 2014 at 11:03 pm

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