Given her name because she can “ride over any rhythm,” Poni Capri has come a long way since growing up in East London but her birthplace continues to influence both her music and how she lives her life. Now spending her time between London and Atlanta in America, she has battled through violent gang culture, homelessness and sexual exploitation before her luck changed, leading her to work with the likes of Lil Wayne and D12’s Mr Porter. Her forthcoming single is Rich Sex and tells of her growing close to someone and sharing each other’s success and precedes an EP, Dark Candy, to be released on August 9th.
Growing up as one of five children to a Jamaican father and Ghanian mother in East London, Poni (real name Marsha Bryant) spent much time living with relatives in Hackney as her parents endured an acrimonious divorce. Soon falling into the crime-fuelled gang culture in her early teens, one of the few girls at the heart of this dark world, she saw her fellow members shot, killed, imprisoned and falling victim to drugs and suicide in a short space of time.
Determined to escape the cycle and launch her own musical career, some ingenious detective work led to Poni finding where 50 Cent and D12 were staying when performing in town, and hand-delivered her CD to every member. The ploy worked and she ended up befriending many of the team, leading to her working with the Shady Records team and flying to America. Poni’s music spread and got interest from the team working with Jay Z, recording in Roc the Mic Studio NYC at the same time Beyonce was recording in the next room. However, the move to America for a proposed record deal fell through at the last moment, leaving her homeless and broke in NYC, leaving her to rely on the kindness of strangers, sleeping on couches and floors. Ironically, it was after Poni decided to return to the UK, she got a call from someone who saw her in Jay Z’s studio and told her Lil Wayne wanted Poni on his record. Having recorded the vocals in England, he then released it on his Public Enemy mixtape.
Moving to Atlanta in the hope her luck improved from her New York experience, she met her now husband, an upcoming producer. Building from the ground up, they started a graphic design business together, whilst Poni was also in regular demand for modelling jobs too. Experiencing at first-hand the corruption in the music industry, with music moguls bribing her with promises riches and fame if she slept with them, only made her desire to succeed on her own terms even stronger. Her latest material is her strongest yet, marrying the beats and flow of US hip-hop with an injection of UK grime and her own irresistible personality.