Someone who we have followed for a while is megababe Iraina Mancini. She’s a super talented musician and DJ and we have always admired her unique vintage style. We recently got to catch up and shoot with her at the famous Handel & Hendrix in London which is home to of course Jimi Hendrix’s flat where he lived back in the 60s. The perfect place for a Hendrix inspired feature full of embroidery, pattern and layering. We thought we would catch up with Iraina to find out what she’s been up to and what’s next for her in the pipeline…
For our followers who are new to your music, how would you describe your sound?
It’s inspired by Ye’-Ye’ girls of the 60s, French pop, Psychedelia and Vintage Cinema. Someone described it as ‘luxury pop’ once which I thought was cool.
What were your musical beginnings?
My dad was a musician and had a box of amazing 45’s, Soul, Latin and Rhythm and Blues I used to raid. We used to sit and listen to music together, I was lucky I had a good education very young.
Do you remember the first record you ever bought?
The first tape I ever bought was En Vogue -Don’t let go. What a tune. The first actual record I bought was Tina Britt’s version of Sookie Sookie, it’s so brilliant.
The 70s is a very special decade for us, are there any artists from the 70s that you particularly admire?
Of course, Bowie, O’ Jays, Sly and The Family Stone, Blondie.. List goes on.
How important is fashion to you and how would you describe your style?
It’s incredibly important to me. I love expressing myself through clothes and Jewellery For me its an extension of who I am and makes me feel good and confident. I get my glamour from my mum; she always looks amazing and has impeccable taste. I am obsessed with the fashion from the 60s /70s and like to find beautiful vintage gems. I love how French women dress, they are so sexy and effortlessly cool. Suits, leather, faux fur, leopard, platforms and sequins take up most of my wardrobe.
Do you have one piece of clothing that’s more special than the others and what’s the story behind it?
I have a beautiful original 1970s Penny Lane coat with burn orange faux fur cuffs and collar. I bought it online and had it shipped all the way from San Francisco. When it arrived it came with a letter from the owner saying she had worn it when she was young and had many adventures in it but now was time to make someone else happy. That really warmed my heart and every time I wear it I get stopped in the street.
If you could be on the line up with any other band in history, who would you choose?
Gosh that’s a tricky one but I’d have to say Fleetwood Mac.
As well as being a singer/song writer you’re also a DJ and live on Soho Radio each Tuesday from 2-4pm. What can people expect when they tune in to your show?
I play my favourite Northern Soul, Rhythm & Blues, Funk and Garage Rock. I love to find rare undiscovered records and covers from soul singers of classic songs. Then I interview my favourite new band/singer and ask them to play live in the studio. It’s so much fun.
We have a couple of quick fire music questions for you!
Best song to turn up loud?
Get up (I feel like being a) Sex Machine – James Brown
The song that would get you straight on the dance floor?
Psychotic Reaction – Count Five
A song to end an all-nighter?
Like a Ship – Pastor T.L. Barrett & The Youth For Christ Choir
What’s next for Iraina Mancini?
I have a new single coming out 18th October and I’m really proud of it, its called Lovers in The Dark. Following that me and my band will be doing gigs.. Make sure you come along!