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MPHO

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Biography

United Kingdom

Mpho’s family moved from South Africa to London United Kingdom when she was a toddler to escape apartheid laws that made the very fact of her existence evidence of a crime. Music was a constant presence, with both her biological father and her stepdad being professional musicians. After starring in secondary school plays and concerts – and having classmates asking for her autograph after particularly fiery performances - Mpho found herself a smaller fish in a bigger pond at the Brits School in Croydon.

The road to ‘Pop Art’ hasn’t been smooth. Along the way Mpho took a few wrong turns of her own, making music that didn’t feel sufficiently all-encompassing until that moment when Switch and Martha and the Muffins pointed her in the right direction. From there, the ideas began to flow.

Mpho’s writing has a resonance and depth that sets her apart from many of her pop peers. She’s grown up with hip hop, and it’s the rapper’s delight in wordplay that gives her lyrics their incisive bite. ‘All Change’ uses a metaphor based around train travel to talk, first, about taking charge of a relationship, then, on a deeper level, about seizing control of your destiny.

At other times, she’ll tackle subjects which, though staples of the confessional writing prized in rock or soul circles, are rare coming from artists with serious ambitions toward pop stardom. ‘S.P.A.C.E. Man’, was written after a relationship disintegrated due to her then boyfriend’s descent into drug abuse.

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