The multi-talented Kinzoogianna, also known as Anna Stubbs, captivates listeners once again with her highly anticipated new single, “Cherry Devoy”. This track marks the first glimpse into her upcoming second album, ‘The Clique of ’86’, slated for release in 2025. Known for her dynamic presence in the Nu Jazz, Broken Beat, and Jazztronica scenes, Kinzoogianna continues to push boundaries and evolve as an artist. We catch up with Kinzoogianna about the incredible release…

Hey Kinzoogianna, how are you? We absolutely love Cherry Devoy here at Urbanista! It’s so great to talk to you. 

Thank you! I love your questions, looking forward to this.

“Cherry Devoy” taps into the vibrant energy of the 80s London club scene. What inspired you to blend hip hop, house, and electro for this track?

I’ve always been listening to this kind of music, but I’ve been going back to my dancing roots a lot more, and my drum programming skills are up for something quicker now, so I thought I’d go for a dance album exploring 120-130 BPM (or hip hop). I love the raw beats and grooves from that era.  The broken beat scene in London is my home and that naturally has come out of those dance floor rhythms.

Your upcoming album, ‘The Clique of ’86,’ promises a unique sonic experience. How does ‘Cherry Devoy’ set the stage for the rest of the album?

Cherry is the first character off of the album. He really encapsulates what UK dance music is all about, the raw sexuality of a dance floor, the glamour, the nostalgia, the hedonism.  I want all the tunes to show a different facet of music culture (and the different parts of myself) expressed through a character or characters.  Some of the tunes are going to be more rebellious, or more intellectual, and hopefully, the grooves and beats I’ve chosen suit the character. For example, the hip hop version of ‘I Love Music’ is sung by Queenie, who thinks she’s Shirley Bassey!

The video for “Cherry Devoy” features dynamic dance moves by Jutsu. How did that collaboration come about?

I had a dream about how Cherry Devoy would look like and within one minute online I’d found Jutsu, who was perfect.  So I attended his popping/locking dance class at Pineapple Dance Studios for a few weeks and he came up with a choreographed routine for us.  For the rest of it, he/we improvised.  When he dances the whole world stops and watches.  I’m looking forward to working with him again, he’s a genius.

You’ve collaborated with top talents like Rob Mullarkey and Richard Spaven. How does collaboration shape your creative process, and what did the creative process look like? 

For my first album, I pretty much wrote every bass part and much of the drum parts, as well as the guide piano and voices, before sending the lads the recordings. I wrote charts for them as guides and they together (live) replaced what was already recorded with accomplished inspired beautiful bass and drums. It sounds like we were playing live because I then re-recorded the voices and pianos around their new recordings.  It was an unusual and convoluted process but that’s the kind of thing that happened in lockdown.  I was listening to a lot of Joni Mitchell at the time and going on long walks, so my lifelong fire for dance music was on simmer!

Your music spans genres from Nu Jazz to Broken Beat. How do you navigate these different styles, and what draws you to experiment with such diverse musical influences?

I am a mad House Music raver who took a detour through formal jazz training and gigging so it was as natural as breathing to try and add drum and bass rhythms, and funk rhythms to jazz harmony, which morphed into the broken beat style we know today. I did this with the bands that I ran from 1995-2000 leading up to Brotherly, and Rob Mullarkey really broke the mold when he started producing beats.  On the other hand, my hip-hop playlist is 500-600 long, and I love that slower funk too. I got a scholarship to study at The Guildhall School of Music and Drama, so then came the strings sections and other experiments in the basement studios with D&B and orchestra. I love that combination of filthy grooves and beautiful string, vocal or synth sounds.

Who are the biggest influences on your sound? 

The Rotary Connection, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Mary J Blige, Kendrick Lamar, Dilla, Kaidi Tatham, MJ, Joni, Steely Dan, Stevie Wonder, Jazzanova, Louis Cole, Disclosure, Kerri Chandler, Aleem, Nas…..

If you could create a playlist with three of your songs and three songs from your biggest influences, what would you pick?

System – Brotherly, Back of the Bus – Kinzoogianna, Cherry Devoy – Kinzoogianna, I am the Blackgold of the Sun – The Rotary Connection, ADHD – Kendrick Lamar, Dear Alice – Chick Corea
As you prepare to launch ‘The Clique of ’86,’ what themes or messages do you hope listeners take away from the album? What can they expect from this new musical journey?
I would like the listeners to know more about UK culture, particularly how extreme 80s Essex was, and how music was breaking ground for today’s music. I’d like people to know more about the Nujazz/Broken Beat scene that has been killing it in London since the 2000s and how important it is but is being drowned by the mediocre generic songs that are dominating. I’d like people to be braver in their music choices, learn new things, be more comfortable with shifting displaced funky rhythms and adventurous chord progressions (like they were in the 80s), get used to nonmajor scale harmony, and open up their minds and ears. I also would like people to be prouder of whatever class or culture they come from, or however old they are, because it makes the UK what it is.
Looking back at your journey in the industry, what’s been the most unexpected lesson, place, or piece of advice that’s stuck with you?
Ha!! It was painful, someone I looked up to pointed out that my lyrics were boring, had nothing to visualise, so after I stopped being upset, I started trying to write as if there was a video being imagined in my listeners minds, and to make it as weird and full of character and personality as I could!
Also, befriend the sound engineer! Buy them a beer.
That’s great advice! Thanks for talking with us, Kinzoogianna!

Listen to Cherry Devoy on SPOTIFY | APPLE MUSIC

Find Kinzoogianna on INSTAGRAM


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Lauren Webber

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