Aesthetic:Greentea Peng

Cardigan: Stone Island
Scarf: Vintage

Words: Niloufar Haidari
Photography: Charlotte Hadden
Styling: Jack Collins
Makeup: Laila Zakaria
Hair: Wake Adachi
Assistant: Tamara Odibi

“I’d rather spend my time getting high and staying aligned/ It’s all connected”, Greentea Peng croons over drawn-out, warped synths on her debut single Moonchild – an antidote to the increasingly money-driven and egocentric society we’ve found ourselves in. The 24-year-old Bermondsey-born artist is concerned with bigger things: healing, manifesting, positive energies.

The lo-fi footage accompanying Moonchild sees her walking around London at night, a blur of brightly coloured prints, textures and scarves, all accentuated by piles of gold jewellery and distinctive tattoos. Clips of the singer are spliced with images of incense burning, spliffs being rolled, flowers and – of course – green tea.

But she’s cautious not to be pretentious about her references. “I don't wanna make spirituality my whole thing,” she clarifies. “I don't want people to think I'm preaching, because I’m like here on my spiritual journey,” she says, pointing out a space just above ground level while rolling a joint. “I don't want people to think I’m trying to be something I’m really not.”

Despite her concerns, Greentea Peng’s authenticity shines through within minutes of meeting her. “It’s always coming from a place of honesty and love,” she says of her music. “It’s me and it’s honest and frank, and relatable because of that, I guess. A lot of [my songs] are introspective, sometimes I write to myself about myself from another point of view.” Her musical inspirations are fitting: Erykah Badu, Lauryn Hill, Finley Quaye, and more recently, Jill Scott – “I only just started listening to her properly and she’s fire.”

Her debut EP, Sensi, released in October 2018, is six tracks of psychedelic R&B with influences of the dub and reggae she loves overlaid with twinkling electronic productions and reverb. Following a period of time in which she was “moving mad” and stopped singing for a few years, the EP is a sort of cleansing of the negative, dark energy and tough personal times that led her here. “I slowed myself all the way down and took myself to some low vibrational place, and I’m still trying to get back on top form. But it will happen,” she muses both in regard to her personal journey towards spiritual betterment and her music.

“I think I look like my music,” she says of the visual side of her aesthetic. “I'd like to think that anyway!” Greentea Peng describes her style as “ragamuffin.” Charity shops have been her go-to for clothing since she was a teenager, but she’s learnt to keep an eye out for things in more unconventional places too. “Clothes recycling bins – I always have a look in them. I'm really good at just finding stuff. Some of my best pieces I’ve just found on the road. Like this,” she says, pulling out a multi-coloured crocheted cardigan from her wardrobe. “I found it on the top of a rubbish bin. It's one of my favourite things.”

In an ideal world, she’d love her entire wardrobe to be made up of outfits in her favourite colour – green, of course. “When I’m around green I just feel better. I wish I could just wear all green clothes every day, but I don't have them, and I don't have any money to buy all green clothes. But one day I’ll have accumulated enough green clothes to do it.”

Greentea Peng’s love of the colour is tied simply to the way it makes her feel. She spent this morning, it turns out, singing some of the new music she’s been working on to her beloved collection of plants. “Green makes me feel… just peace,” she explains. “It makes me think of trees and the jungle and leaves and smoking weed… all the good green shit. I love it.”

The Sensi  EP is out
now via TENNNN

Jacket: Stone Island
Top: Maxine Beiny
Skirt: Pleats Please Issey Miyake

All Clothing and Jewellery: Greentea’s Own

Jacket: Xander Zhou
Jewellery: Greentea’s Own

Dress: Pleats Please Issey Miyake
Hat and Jewellery: Greentea’s Own

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