Her complex orchestral arrangements of layered vocals, sparse piano, strings and brass flourishes in freeform jazz structures, awoke even the most jaded critics from musical ennui.
“Sing To The Moon” showed influences from Björk, gospel, The Beach Boys and Broadway to The Carpenters and Gershwin.
“We are constantly encouraged to be vocal, have an opinion through Facebook or Twitter. We all need to shut up and be quiet for a bit.” Mvula talks slowly and deliberately, her intonation tinged with the flat notes of Midlands suburbia.
She considers each of my questions at length, her eyes shut, only speaking when she has formulated an answer in its entirety.
Initially, she suffered stage fright and an acute fear of being alone, which she describes now as monophobia, a sensation captured in her song Is There Anybody Out There?