After its release in 2003, the documentary ‘Afro-punk’ soon became a cult classic, highlighting the lives of black punks in America. It inspired a festival, AFROPUNK, which has since become a cultural movement celebrating black music, activism and action. Staged annually in Brooklyn since 2005, this September the festival comes to London for the first time and will feature performances from Grace Jones, Laura Mvula, Benjamin Booker, Kwabs, The Noisettes and more.


Another musician set to perform is Purple Ferdinand. The 28-year-old East London native previously played AFROPUNK in New York off the back of just a few gigs and this year returns to London for a hometown gig of her rich, soulful sound.

We caught up with Purple ahead of the festival in a few weeks to get to know some of her favourite (and least favourite) things.


If I had to describe our music in 3 words, I’d use…
Nostalgic, mindful and sweet.

My favourite film ever is…
Non existent. But IF I have to pick my favourite today it would be ‘My Neighbour Totoro‘.

The most famous person I’ve met is…
The one and only Pharrell Williams at the first Afropunk Festival I played in Brooklyn.

The best venue I’ve played so far is…
The Tate Britain.

The song I hate the most is…
Various remakes of ‘Hey Baby’, as I’ve always loved the Bruce Channel version.

The worst job I’ve ever had is…
Going business to business, door to door selling this brand of make-up for a company. I lasted until the end of the day and I never returned.

If I was in a tribute band it would be a….
A Kelis tribute band.

My favourite word is….

If I had a super power I’d want it to be….

If I could play a gig anywhere it would be…
In a crystal cave system with slow flowing water trickling in the background for ambience.

I think you should listen to…
Eva Cassidy – The Best Of

If I could see anyone play live it would be…
Bob Marley, if it was anyone!

Purple Ferdinand plays AFROPUNK London at Alexandra Palace on 24th September.