Neneh Mariann Karlsson (born 10 March 1964), better known as Neneh Cherry, is a Swedish singer-songwriter, rapper, occasional DJ and broadcaster. Her musical career started in London in the early 1980s, where she performed in a number of punk and post-punk bands in her youth, including The Slits and Rip Rig + Panic.
To date, Cherry has released five studio albums under her own name. Her first, Raw Like Sushi, was released in 1989 and peaked at number three on the UK Album Chart, thanks in large part to the worldwide hit single “Buffalo Stance”.
“Buffalo Stance” was from her debut album, Raw Like Sushi. The song peaked at No. 3 on both the UK Singles Chart and the US Billboard Hot 100, and it reached No. 1 in her native Sweden and the Netherlands. An early version of the song appeared as the B-side on the 1986 Stock, Aitken, and Waterman-produced single “Looking Good Diving” by duo Morgan-McVey, which was made up of Jamie Morgan and Cherry’s future husband Cameron McVey. The song, titled “Looking Good Diving with the Wild Bunch”, was sung by Cherry.
The song title refers to “Buffalo”, a group of photographers, models, musicians, hair and makeup artists, etc. formed by fashion stylist Ray Petri, of which group Cherry, Morgan, and McVey were all members. A buffalo stance is, Cherry told The New York Times, “an attitude you have to have in order to get by. It’s not about fashion but about survival in inner cities and elsewhere.” The song’s title is also a reference to the Malcolm McLaren song “Buffalo Gals” (1983), which “Buffalo Stance” samples. Other samples came from Rock Steady Crew’s “Hey You”, and the saxophone break is from the band Miami’s song “Chicken Yellow” (1974).
Cherry notably performed the song live on Top of the Pops while seven months pregnant. When asked by a reporter if it were safe for her to go up on stage performing, Cherry answered: “Yes, of course! It’s not an illness.”