Recently, during the Mumbai regional round (not finale) took place along with a workshop and an afterparty with performances by international artist Greentea Peng, alongside Indian hip-hop icons Dee MC and DJ Uri. I got to have a conversation with the London-based artist Greentea Peng while she was getting a tattoo in a parlour in Mumbai.
Asking about the name, she said, “To me, Greentea is because I’m a big tea drinker, big fan of the plant, big fan of green. The word peng is like a slang word for something nice or tasty. I was coming back from a jungle in Peru with a massive packet of Greentea. It started as a joke, but when it came down to the music – it felt right! The two opposing words sort of suggest two different things, like a contrast in the name. Because green tea is good for you and wholesome, and Peng is a slang word in the streets of London.”
Talking about her journey, “I was always a singer, I’ve been singing since I was a kid. Took a break for about five-six years and started again a couple of years ago. For the last three years, I’ve been doing it professionally.” Telling me about her break and why she came back to it, she said, “When I was in Mexico, I saw these signs coming from the universe. I needed music back in my life. There is nothing really else I’ve been good at. I was in Mexico, watching a lot of bands and I was like – I want to be doing that as well. So yea, I just did it! Found a band, started singing from there, continued playing and everything then blew up from there.”
Talking about the thought about her EP ‘Sensi’, she said, “It was my first project, the first time I was trying to write again. I wanted to express myself, open up myself, put it all out there into the music. Experimenting with the vulnerability with that. It was about a lot of heartbreak and complex human stuff, the normal stuff really.” She laughed vehemently.
Asking her about her inspirations, she shared, “I was inspired by everyone. I used to listen to so much music! I have been inspired by so many people. Even places! I have always tried obtaining inspiration from everyone and everything.”
Talking about spirituality and how it helped her, “I’m not really big on spirituality and just aimed to be the best kind of person I can be. I have always been attracted to all sorts of religion and their symbols, that’s why the tattoos. I have never consciously tried to be inclined to spirituality. I have always been focused on my healing process, and the symbols are sort of a reminder for me. For me, it’s all love, and that’s that really.”
Speaking about her experience with Breezer Vivid Shuffle and her trip to India, she shared, “I have been wanting to come to India for so long, and was so excited when it fell in place. It was a wicked event, and people were so lovely, open an warm. It was a lovely thing to be a part of. I saw a couple of acts come up and perform before me and really liked Dee MC and DJ Uri. The scene is absolutely wicked here.”
Talking about any collaborations with any Indian artists, she said, “I haven’t come across anyone yet I would want to work with. But, there a lot of things to do here and this is only my first time in India. So I can’t wait to come back and meet people and visit other places like Delhi and so on and meet other people and take it all in. So I am sure that one day I will be making music with someone from India.”
When I asked about her future plans and releases, she shared, “I got a new music video coming out in a few weeks. I also got a big project coming at the end of October, which will be a 6-track EP which will be a year since Sensi. So I’m really looking forward to it.”