Henrie Kwushue carries a vibrant energy wherever she turns, serving as a mouthpiece for London’s forthcoming generations.
Much has changed since the force’s early beginnings at Reprezent, a local station that maintains community at its core. It’s this same ethos that has guided Kwushue’s further steps in her journey as a DJ, producer, presenter and broadcaster. Spanning across rap, R&B, afrobeats and dancehall, the presenter takes a light journalistic approach to her craft. Aiding the rise of radio-success-story No Signal, the 27-year old has become an integral figure spotlighting Black music and culture in the UK.
Kwushue’s latest work alongside Who We Be, a three-part-series titled ‘Henrie On Tour’, only fortifies these objectives. Delving into the Black music epicentres of London, Accra and Kingston, the presenter shares her infectious, can-do attitude in new spheres and global contexts. Covering all bases from immersing herself amongst Notting Hill Carnival’s costume designers to joining Ghanaian music entrepreneur Smallgod, it’s an exciting venture that finds a balance between entertaining and educating its audience.
CLASH caught up with Kwushue following the second episode of ‘Henrie On Tour,’ detailing the foundations of her career thus far.
How did you first find your feet as a creative in London?
At the very beginning it was through my first ever radio show at Reprezent Radio (South london) many years ago hahaha! Through radio I learned there were so many creative paths I could take to presenting and the next idea I had was a three-part docu-series on gentrification (called Is Your Area Changing?).
Of all the artists you have spotlighted across your career, can you pinpoint a conversation that felt personally inspiring?
Whew this is a great question! I think one of my favourite conversations have to have been with Idris Elba. I think knowing he’s from Sierra Leone as well and that there are only a few of us in this industry, it was great to see how he navigated his African-ness throughout his own career.
Tell us one thing that your journey as a presenter, from your early rise at Reprezent up til now, has taught you?
It’s so cliche, but I really learned that being who you are to your core is so important. You won’t catch yourself out by doing things or saying things or even accepting jobs that you usually wouldnt – because it’s not a reflection of who you actually are.
When and how did the idea for your latest series ‘Henrie On Tour’ come into fruition?
The Spotify Who We Be team had an idea for a summer series that we could possibly collaborate on. We both thought it was super important to embrace cultures that are important to the UK. So, we started off looking at what makes London, London through the lens of Notting Hill Carnival and then Ghana and Jamaica were next on the cards!
The first and second episodes of Henrie On Tour are out now. What has been your favourite moment on the series so far?
My favourite moment of the series, as crazy as this might sound, is at the end of each final filming day. This is because I look back on my time in each country and I’m genuinely like: …wow, I could SO live here!
As we inch closer to the year ahead, where do the next steps lie for Henrie?
I think next year is so exciting because you don’t actually know what’s in store. For me this means that everything is limitless and achievable, God willing. So, when all the exciting things happen – you’ll know exactly when I do hahaha!
Words: Ana Lamond