From time to time MyCityByNight takes a break from stage diving, mosh pits and hardcore raves to connect with some of the local artists who make their bread and butter through making commercial music. One such artist is Raquel Munn and as luck would have it, she also happens to be an uber Mooiness… It’s a tough job that we have… Really, I have no idea how we get through the day.
MCBN: You’ve been working very closely with the genius that is Kaleidosound Music Productions and UnBoxEntertainment, what is your favourite thing about those chaps?
Raquel: They’re slave drivers, I never get a break, nah only jokes. They’re really cool guys and people who believe in me and my talent and finding someone to believe in what you do in this world is rather hard to find.
We’ve heard rumours that how well someone dances is directly proportional to how well they do in the sack. Any truth to that? Remember… you were once a dancer.
Oh, I’m still a dancer, and will be dancing in a show as a dancer (and singer) at Grand West soon, and of course the rumour is true.
Speaking of dancing, do you feel that South Africa is a country where dance is a profession that is taken seriously, seriously enough for you to be able to make a living from?
No, sadly it’s really hard for theatre right now. With performing art unions such as SAGA (South African Guild of Actors) they are trying their best, but sometimes real professionals are exploited in our country, and maybe it’s because the art is not as appreciated as it was once before, so our standard has dropped. There are brilliant dancers who have made it work for them, but it is hard. And a lot of professionals have left SA and gone abroad to improve and grow their work. This is very close to my heart and another reason why I went abroad to perform, because the things I learnt overseas were real eye openers. I’m back to open SA’s eyes! Art reflects life, and there is so much talent here. People have forgotten that SA used to have some of the best ballet companies in the world and pop stars e.g. Brenda Fassie, and those people seem to have gone further than anyone in those Entertainment fields today. I hope we’ll get that back. It is happening, look around!
You’re originally from Kimberley in the Northern Cape. What did you used to do for fun when you were younger? (apart from trying to not fall in that big hole)
Well, we tried not to perform too close to that hole… ha ha ha no I performed as kid in Kimberley. Getting moola to perform was so fulfilling. Doing shows every weekend and traveling in SA to perform gigs. I took dance, violin and gymnastics every afternoon for six hours of my day after school. I have performed professionally since I was fourteen, so when it became serious I ended up developing my craft more. I never had a social life as a teenager, and branching out as a performer in a small town didn’t go down well with the locals(except for our younger fans). They didn’t enjoy anything that wasn’t normal and I thrived on that.
You’ve been singing since, well forever and we heard that when you were 14 you performed in a Spice Girls tribute band called “The Kimberley Spice Girls”. I highly doubt that you were Scary Spice, which band member did you play?
I first started as Ginger( I love kinky characters), but when she left (the real group) I became Baby Spice. We had to talk in their English accents as well, which was awesome. We were in the “You/Huisgenoot” in April 1999 with an article appropriately named “Spice Girls from Kimberley, nogal”… ha ha ha ha memories!
You’ve performed in countless musicals and plays in South Africa- which of these was your favourite and why?
Ooooh, I can’t pick one, but the best one to perform in was “Disney High School Musical – Live on Stage Asian Tour 2010” I got to be a b****y American valley girl and rule the school (Sharpay). So awesome always wanted to do that and sing scary high notes. But the most beautiful show was “Disney Beauty and the Beast” 2008. The show was just absolutely beautiful. I was a chorus girl and the understudy to Belle. It was another dream come true. We got to work with international directors, and I got to meet someone special in that team he he he. We got the Broadway treatment with sets flown in from overseas. I was also the Enchantress in the beginning who changed the Prince into the Beast. I was rigged to a harness in mid air and had to throw a pyrotechnics ball across the stage. I felt powerful because I had a detonator that was strong enough to blow the whole theatre up (insert scary laugh here) which was used to ignite the pyro ball. Don’t tell anyone… I told you that. You know Disney is top secret!
If you could have 3 people in your entourage, dead or alive, who would they be and why?
Madonna, because she is the queen of pop dah! Shirley McClaine, so that I know someone else is crazier than me, I just love her. My best friend, no one can make me laugh like her… as in laughing fits on the floor.
You’ve also performed on one or two cruise ships over the years, what was the craziest thing you’ve seen on the high seas? I once saw a guy get stabbed with a spoon in the
neck (ok not really)
Oh there are so many, my cruise director at the Sexy Legs Competition wearing Borats mankini! Ha ha ha ha ha with shaved legs of course (scary but hot!). Our Captain driving his Harley on board (yes the ships are massive) ; 300 dolphins swimming with the ship…you know, life at sea.
What makes you different as a recording artist?
I’m an artist not a celebrity. I have something to say. I need to communicate. I have big dreams and a strong sense of ambition. I have a vision, that I know I am capable of delivering. I’m singing kwaito/house because it lives in my soul. I want to compete on the international front. I want to make it to the Grammys one day (more than anything want to perform in that arena). South Africa take me there. I thrive on professionalism.
Let’s stop keeping ourselves back.
You’ve had some rotation on radio doing the vocals on one or two tracks and that’s definitely going to go into overdrive now that you’ve decided to record your own full album. How would you describe the style of music that you’re putting out?
Well, it started as kwaito, and then I went into house. Now I’m entering a new phase that my producers and I coin as “Trounse” Trans-House flavour. Look, as long as I have an African beat and can kwasa/pantsula to it, I’m good.
Do you have a favourite track on your new album?
Name? Raquel Munn
Nickname/s? Racky, Rackedy, Rara, Ra-qwell, Kelly, Rah-gil, Ra-cool, Racks/Raqs hey go on, almost everyone I’ve met has made one up for me.
Eye Colour? Blue/Green (weather dependant)
Fave Colour? White…. Oh that’s not a colour well my Gemini twin wants pink then.
Fave Food? Italian
Fave Restaurant? Balducci’s V & A and MENU, Greenpoint 🙂
Fave Club? Jade, Greenpoint. Newscafe, South Beach, Miami.
Fave Band/DJ? There are too many! No really we could be here all day!
Fave night out? Light diner and a cool movie with too much popcorn.
Sexiest car? My Alfa
Would you pose for Playboy South Africa? Only if I can wear an African Leotard Bunny Suit and well Hef needs to be in the pic and in person, no cardboard cut outs! (Dad don’t kill me, I’m covered…ha ha ha ha)
What has been the highlight of your career (apart from being a MyCityByNight Mooiness)? Ha ha ha ha performing on the Mariner of the Seas, and getting a standing ovation from Howie D from the Backstreet Boys in the middle of my solo…. I was like ‘Dude, sit down, I should be clapping for you!’ got to meet him afterwords. Lets just say it was a very sexy song that was being performed.
Which artist/s would you most love to work with? Justin Timberlake/ Danny K/ Shirley Bassey/ Claire Johnston / Rihanna / Sting / Stephen Sondheim.
What is your favourite city? Venice, Italy… what CT of course!
Ninja Turtles, Transformers or The Smurfs? Ninja Turtles, I was Raphael as a kid… no seriously I had all the gear and pretended to fight with my pizza, Yeah!
Do you have any weird habits, charms, items or superstitions? I can’t have dirty feet. I wash my feet almost as much as I was my hands. Yeah, sometimes it’s so bad, I will be at an event and I have to take my shoes off. Well, I don’t put them on again until I’ve washed my feet… you’re thinking ‘freak’. Okay maybe I’m not so bad. I collect lingerie. Don’t whistle in a dressing room.
Which MyCityByNight crew guy would most like to touch? You Ricky!!! Of course!
Hollywood, Brazilian or Fynbos? Hollywood darlin’!
Dogs or Cats? Catzzzzzz! MEOW! But I do want a Malamute! Go figure.
Who came first, the chicken or the egg? Egg.
How would you describe yourself? Nun by day, triple threat performer by night.
Now for the infamous MyCityByNight would you rather question:
Would you rather be forced to dress up in that “lovely” purple suit and play the likes of Barney the Dinosaur for the next 2 years?
Dance for a group of Australian lesbians wearing nipple caps (the one’s with the gold tassels).
Neither, have my own Gold and Diamond Encrusted Nipple Caps Show, costumes if any designed by Dolce and Gabbana ha ha ha ha and shoes by Manolo Blahnik. This one may only happen in my dreams though.
Thanks for taking the time out to chat to us Raquel and not reporting us to the police for harassment, you totally rock (or house).
You are always welcome! 🙂