naomi and rupaul's love child? no, it's moko, fashion killa and soul sista
Born and bred in South East London of Chinese-African ancestry, cover girl with unbeweavable hair and an hourglass figure that will make your jaw hit the floor. Wait a second, it’s not Naomi Campbell, we’re talking about fashion killa, soul sista Moko...
Photography David Sessions
You often speak of your mother and her influence on you. What song did she rinse when you were younger?
My mother loved to rinse Keep on Moving by soul2soul! I remember vividly one day after school she picked me up in a tie-dye ensemble (with a matching head wrap) in our red Nissan and blasting it on the radio.
Did her taste influence yours?
I've always listened to a variety of music. From folk, bluegrass, afro beats, jazz, blues, electronica— you name it! They've all contributed to what I understand as soul music. For me music is a feeling and for that reason I've never been afraid to try something new and fuse all of these styles.
So what song did you rinse as a child, was it Keep on Moving, too?
There we three songs on rotation: Girls on Film by Duran Duran, Heart of Glass by Blondie and Sweetest Taboo by Sade.
Have you always known you wanted to sing?
Nope. Growing up I was a classically trained pianist. It was only when I hit 16 that I realised I could sing. I wrote a rendition of Andre 3000's Prototype on my guitar and I sang it at a school audition, which I then went on to win. Everything changed from that moment.
Your new song has a different vibe. Are you moving in a different direction?
This isn't a new direction as such, just the current vibe I'm on. It came out of nowhere! Chase and Status had been in LA with Rihanna and they had been making some more beats for her and out came this, which I instantly loved! I had to have it. We wrote the song the next day in a matter of hours.
So, your new song is called Your Love. Who's love do you want right now?
I want RuPaul's love and I need Naomi Campbell to adopt me.
Have you ever been in love?
Yes, yes and it hurts like hell! But I'm happier now thanks to the eerily poignant words that always manage hit me between the eyes after every RuPaul's drag race episode: "If you don't love yourself, how the hell you gon' love somebody else?"
Your dancing in the video for Your Love is pretty insane, Ru would be proud…
Lets just say I damn well hope I don't have to sashay away.
Did you hurt yourself trying to death drop?
I practised so hard that I nearly twisted my tail feather, I learnt the choreography in the space of three days, so my body was in agony. I twerked that tailbone like I was trying to make some paper, it was hard times!
If you had to lip sync for your life, what song would it be to?
Ain't Nobody by Chaka Khan. On the last chorus I would pull of my wig and throw it at the judges, before doing the splits into a death drop.
Your EP's are usually named after colours, what's your favourite colour?
I love green. When I was young, the other girls were in love with pink and I was obsessing over florescent green. I wore it from head to toe, I still love green now, but I prefer the deep richer shades.
How do you select which producers to work with?
I've been lucky enough to have worked with producers that I have personal relationships with such as Kwes, Two Inch Punch and The Imposters.
Who would you most like to collaborate with at the moment?
I've always wanted to collaborate with Pharrell, especially in the 00s when he was performing with NERD. His musical ear back then was definitely a force to be reckoned with.
Your hair definitely gets you a lot of attention. Have you had many crazy hairstyles in the past?
Back when I thought I could be Lil Kim, I dyed my afro every colour under the sun, I've worn dreadlock style braids, straight hair, weaves, dip-dyes... everything you can think of. I was spending half my life in Peckham's hair shops.
What hairstyle was your worst? Any cringe worthy ones?
My first weave! It was a synthetic Jheri curl… disgusting. Janet Jackson would not be proud. I'm cringing thinking about it.
Who gives you hair envy?
Beyoncé. Her weaves are just flawlessly laid, her hairstylist need an award.
I've seen a few girls on Instagram that have Moko hair envy …
My hairstyle was sported in the late 90s in playgrounds all over Britain. Social media can sometimes be a blessing and a curse, and lets face it we are all inspired by one another. So if it's a trend, and I'm partly responsible for bringing it back, then I'm happy with it. FKA Twigs, for example, brought back hair slicks in a big way, but that had been a style every rude girl was rocking in London back in the 80s. Black hairstyles always repeat themselves and now girls of all races want to rock these styles that were once stigmatised as too ghetto.
Didn't Naomi Campbell start following you on Twitter…
I still can't believe it! I want to DM her but I freeze up every time! She is my number one inspiration and role model. We're both South East London girls at heart.
Any plans for the summer?
I'm currently writing my album which should be released next year. I'm so so excited to have that finished, but until then I have my first headline show of this year on 18th September at XOYO, it's going to be crazy. I'll be throwing shapes that you never knew existed, hunty!
Text Adam Fletcher
Photography David Sessions