SAMANTHA Mumba’s Twitter handle reads like a cryptic story of her life: Mama; wife; Grammy-nominated, multi-platinum selling recording artist; actress; TV presenter.
The talented multitasker could also add transatlantic frequent flyer. The 36-year-old chart-topper is based in Los Angeles but thanks to the “game-changer” direct flight to Dublin run by Aer Lingus, she’s over and back a lot. “It’s only a plane ride away — it’s grand,” she says of the nine-and-a-half-hour journey.
There was no sign of jetlag when she landed in her native Dublin recently. She joined Just Eat to celebrate National Takeaway Tuesday — which supports homeless charities — and was a guest presenter on Virgin Media’s Exposé.
She has also appeared on the ITV chat show Loose Women. “They are gorgeous ladies and really, really fun. I would love to do more work with them down the line, absolutely. Everyone has totally their own opinion — and I love that they can disagree.”
Though constantly busy, when it comes to a career plan, Mumba believes in going with the flow. “I enjoy doing the presenting thing. I enjoy doing the acting thing — once it’s something that’s a good fit for me.”
But this year her main focus is on music. “I’ll be releasing a new album this year, with a single in April and one in summer.”
When in Dublin her mum is delighted to get the chance to indulge her three-year-old granddaughter, Sage.
“She’s being spoilt rotten and being given way too much chocolate.”
Back in LA, they love to go to Disneyland. “That’s our happy place. It’s about an hour’s drive [from where we live] depending on traffic. We have an annual pass.” Mumba also has an annual pass for Dublin Zoo: “I love a good annual pass,” she jokes.
What shape are you in?
My weight fluctuates a little bit. I’m laid back about all of that. But for the most part, I feel better when I’m more active. I’m a bit more focused on that recently. I would go to the gym about four days a week. It depends on what mood I’m in. Recently, because I was trying to lose a little weight I’ve been starting with cardio but for the most part, I prefer doing the weights. I try to switch it up a little bit.
What are your healthiest eating habits?
I usually start my day with a green juice. At least I feel like no matter how the rest of the day goes, I know I’ve gotten some goodness. I use kale, spinach, watercress, turmeric, ginger, apple, banana, whatever berries or fruit I have in the fridge. It’s delicious and a really nice start to the day.
What are your guiltiest pleasures?
I never had a particularly sweet tooth but my daughter is a total chocoholic — she’s got me on the bandwagon. Now, I like a dessert if I’m out, rather than an appetiser. I do nibble on chocolate at home — it’s one for her and one for me.
What would keep you awake at night?
Laying in bed and being on my phone or staying up late watching TV. It’s my unwind time. I’d be a bit of a night owl. It’s a terrible habit.
How do you relax?
I love a deep-tissue Thai massage. And I love it when [the masseuse] walks on my back. Other than that — and I don’t do it very often — it’s a bath.
Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?
For fun, Chrissie Teigen — she’s such a foodie and a friend on my head. Cher would be really fun too. Also, Michael Jackson and drag queen RuPaul.
What’s your favourite smell?
The sea or freshly-cut grass. My perfume changes a lot — at the moment I’m wearing The Tragedy of Lord George by Penhaligon.
What would you like to change about your appearance?
A tonne of things. Definitely, at the moment, I’d like to tone up overall.
When is the last time you cried?
I’m just obsessed with my child — it would have been looking at old videos. Or an old voice note from when she was younger. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be a crying person. That’s not my thing.
What traits do you least like in others?
Meanness — in spirit and with money.
What traits do you least like about yourself?
I can be a little bossy. And I’m a Capricorn — I like things a certain way. I could probably relax on that a little bit.
Do you pray?
I do. Absolutely.
What would cheer up your day?
Anything pertaining to my daughter.