You notice Cynthia Erivo’s eyes first. Round, huge, black. Then the gap-toothed smile. Her hair is sheared close to her scalp, sometimes dyed to match the colour of the clothes she’s wearing. And if you can drag your gaze away from those eyes, it’s the nails you see next. “Long” doesn’t describe them aptly — 3.5cm, multicoloured and with sharp, pointy ends; a ring on every finger.

Then she opens her mouth and you forget everything about her appearance as you’re mesmerised by the sound that comes out of it. She compares her singing to the feeling of flying, before adding with a smile: “When I sing, it feels like sitting in the centre of joy.”

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, ProfileData financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Times Select.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.



Questions or problems? Email helpdesk@businesslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now