UK Natural – Girl in a Thunderbolt

Tell us about yourself
My name’s Maria. I was born in Norwich to a Barbadian mother and Nigerian father. I’m a singer. I create music under the name Girl in a Thunderbolt and I’ve just self-release my first album, which I recorded in Norway last year. I always find it quite difficult to describe my sound, as I have so many influences, from my mum’s old Trojan records, to seventies punk, sixties psychedelia, the blues (I love Howlin’ Wolf!), Bowie, Josh Hommes, Nancy Sinatra, Roxy Music, Silver Apples…the list goes on! Others have said it sounds like The Noisettes, The Doors and Eartha Kitt (which I’m quite happy with!)

When did you go natural?
I went natural on December 6th 2002. I think that was the day I realised I was ‘an artist’ and accepted that I’d never be happy in a traditional job. I wanted to live life purely for me and self-expression. So I locked my hair on that day and unlocked my mind!

Maria with her Locs

The first year of growing locs was pretty challenging, insomuch as I found myself questioning and re-evaluating my own perceptions of beauty. Anyone who has loc-ed their hair will know that it takes about 12 months for the individual locs ‘settle’, during which time I spent most of my days with a hat on, and most of my evenings looking into the mirror longing for shoulder-length hair instead of the fluffy rats tails that were sticking up all over my head! After a couple of years though, I was over the moon that I’d made the decision to loc. I’m a real low-maintenance girl, and I loved the fact that my hair was ‘ready’ the moment I got out of bed.
I felt like changing things up at the beginning of last year, so I asked my boyfriend to cut my locs off. As much as I loved my locs, after seven years of having all that hair on my head, I really fancied the simplicity of a closely-cropped afro! He was reluctant at first, but I managed to twist his arm!

I’ve never got any negative reactions about my hair. I guess I’m quite lucky. It’s always been quite positive. 
I could never go back to relaxed hair. I’m totally in love with the texture of afro hair. I think it’s amazing and beautiful that we are the only people on the planet who have hair like this. We’re so unique. Why change that.

How do you take care of your hair?
Because I went from relaxing, to locs, and then finally to loose natural hair in 2009, I’m still learning about what my hair likes best. I’ve discovered that my routine that worked in the Winter isn’t necessarily the best routine for the Summer. Here’s what I do in the Summer months:
I co-wash my hair every couple of days with Aussie Miracle Moist Conditioner, blot dry with a towel, and then do two-strand twists using my home-made concoction of unrefined Shea Butter, Coconut Oil, Aloe Vera Gel, Glycerine and Bergamot Oil. (I’ve yet to find a product on the shelves that my hair loves as much.) I used to detail after washing with a wide-tooth comb, but I’ve found that I’ve recently begun getting split ends, so the comb is out the window! I recently had my ends trimmed and now I just detangle while the conditioner is on my hair using my fingers.
I deep-condition every couple of weeks, often using something from the Boots ‘Naked’ range, as they don’t contain a lot of things that are harmful to my hair, and I’ll mix it with melted coconut oil, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and sometimes Shea Butter, and let that sit on my hair for about an hour.
To get rid of product build-up I might shampoo once a month with a mild shampoo. I’ve used Bentonite Clay in the past to clarify my hair too, and I’ve loved that!

In the Winter, I find my hair needs less moisture, so I was once a week, using a similar home-made mixture to twist, except I leave out the glycerine as it feels too gooey in the cooler months. I’m not a big fan of gooey hair!
What’s the worst thing you ever did to your hair in the past?
The worst thing? relaxing my hair at home!
What’s your  favourite product and where do you buy it?
I’d find it pretty difficult to live without unrefined Shea Butter and Coconut Oil! I tend to buy them online in large pots and then make up my own products in the kitchen.

People say that flowers grow better when you sing to them, do you think that hair grows better with music?

Ha ha! Great question (it made me smile!) Do you know, I haven’t tried! It would be a great experiment! Perhaps I’ll write an ode to my afro and sing it every morning in the shower. I’ll let you know how I get on! 🙂

Your words of wisdom? 
I think Judy Garland said it best:  “Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.”

More info

Maria will be at our meet up and will be singing a couple of tracks for us so if you want to join us dont forget to get your ticket. Click here for more info 



  1. Anonymous says:

    love her hair