King March 3, 2019

The saxophonist Nubya Garcia

The saxophonist Nubya Garcia. Photograph: Dave Benett/Getty Images for Sky

Born in north London in 1991, saxophonist Nubya Garcia studied at the Royal Academy of Music, the Berklee College of Music and Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. She has released two solo EPs – Nubya’s 5ive (2017) and When We Are (2018) – and performs as part of groups including Maisha, Nérija and the Theon Cross Trio. She presents a monthly show on NTS Radio. She plays Manchester tonight, London tomorrow, Brighton on Tuesday and more dates later this year.

‘This book really resonated with me because I’m black and I’m British’

1. Book

The Good Immigrant, Nikesh Shukla

I like to read a few books on tour, otherwise I’ll just spend all the time on my phone. This book really resonated with me because I’m black and British, but my grandparents and my mum are from the Caribbean and have lived here since they were very young. Loads of the essays spoke to me, especially around growing up in this country. There were parts in each story where I was like, either “this happened to me” or “I felt like this but didn’t know how to articulate it in my adult life and didn’t know what I was feeling as a child.”

2. Radio

Moses Boyd Residency, BBC Radio 1Xtra

Moses Boyd: ‘It’s nice to have a young voice on a BBC radio show like him’
 Moses Boyd: ‘It’s nice to have a young voice on a BBC radio show.’ Photograph: BBC radio 1Xtra Residency

I have a radio show and I like to see how other people build their world within the hour or two they get. It’s different but also similar to how you build a show as a musician. Moses Boyd’s show marries being a live musician, a producer and a radio host. He’ll have guests – Shirley Tetteh, whose artist name is Nardeydey, and Touching Bass, a label that put on nights in London – and they talk and play music. For his “on the spot” section, he plays records and the guests improvise over the top. It’s nice to have a young voice, like him, on a BBC radio show.

3. TV

Chef’s Table, Netflix

The nun Jeong Kwan on Chef’s Table
 The nun Jeong Kwan on Chef’s Table: ‘I absolutely fell in love with her perspectives surrounding food and eating.’ Photograph: South China Morning Post/South China Morning Post via Getty

I never thought I’d be into cooking programmes, but a friend told me about this and I’m pretty damn hooked. We were talking about cooking and how I missed cooking while I’m on the road. This is how I get my fix. The first one I saw was with Jeong Kwan, who’s a nun, and I absolutely fell in love with her philosophy and perspectives surrounding food and eating. I’m super into seeing how top chefs around the world create their dishes, to hear about their highs and lows and how they got to where they are.

4. Gallery

National Museum of Fine Arts, Havana, Cuba

Havana’s National Museum of Fine Arts.
 Havana’s National Museum of Fine Arts. Photograph: Alamy

I came back from Cuba two weeks ago – I went with my boyfriend – and we saw the most incredible art at this exhibition. It’s this huge, multi-storey building focusing on Cuban artists throughout the decades and I was blown away. There were sculptures, pop art-influenced stuff, art about the revolution – so much, all in one place. I loved reading all the stories and I made a note of a couple of the artists’ names. Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough time to see everything and it was one of our last days. I wish we could go back.

5. Theatre

The Jungle, Playhouse theatre

The Jungle at London’s Playhouse Theatre: ‘You could feel and hear everything that was happening’
 The Jungle at London’s Playhouse theatre: ‘You could feel and hear everything that was happening.’ Photograph: Tristram Kenton/The Guardian

I hadn’t heard much about this play, but last year I met some of the cast and it pushed me to see it. It blew my mind – it was devastating and simultaneously uplifting, crushing, then hopeful and then crushing some more. It’s set in a restaurant that was in the “Jungle” refugee camp in Calais and they made the downstairs seating area part of the set. You could hear and feel everything that was happening. I don’t think it’s running any more, but it’s important we don’t forget about this issue – it’s a huge part of all our stories.

6. Documentary

What Happened, Miss Simone?

Nina Simone: ‘She gave everything and more to the music she made’
 Nina Simone: ‘She gave everything and more to the music she made.’ Photograph: Getty Images

Nina Simone is such a seminal musician to me and to everyone, across genres. But her story is not that well known, so I’m glad this documentary exists. I found out a lot about her personal life, her business life, her mental health, the fact that a lot of her activist friends died. It was heartbreaking and beautiful to see her fight for her political views, within her music and without. She gave everything and more to the music she made, especially when she wanted to be a classical pianist, but, as a black woman, that wasn’t really permitted at the time. It really affected me.