How was 2019 for you?
Monique Bingham: 2019 was great musically! I feel like I’m bursting with new music and ideas. I wish our long national nightmare would end, but other than that it was productive.
I got to travel and perform in some new parts of Africa this year, including Namibia and Angola for the first time. Every opportunity to perform for folks is a blessing, but it’s lovely to meet people and places you had no idea your music had reached.
The xenophobic “riots” in Johannesburg in September were incredibly disturbing and disheartening. It really messed me up for some weeks. I was touring there the entire month. As a part-time punk Pan-Africanist to watch African nationals fight other African nationals in Africa was a mind fuck for someone like me. But I am lucky I have a lot of great friends in SA, and I can also count the great Nigerian painter Lemi Ghariokwu as a friend, and they really talked me off the ledge.
Song of the year?
Ralf GUM feat. Bongi Mvuyana’s “Used To Be.” Bongi is one of the most original singers I have heard in ages.
What’s your New Year’s resolution?
To remember who I was when I first started this musical sojourn and to be as fearless as she was in everything I do in 2020.