She graduated from the Birmingham Conservatoire with a degree in composition. While she was working as a supply teacher in a Birmingham secondary school, she started writing songs on her laptop. She was working as a receptionist when she sent out two demos to several people in the music industry. She is married to singer Themba Mvula. Signed to Sony subsidiary RCA, Mvula released her debut extended play, "She", on 16 November 2012.
Her debut studio album, Sing to the Moon, was released on 4 March 2013. One person has described her music using a new term, "gospeldelia". The album was preceeded by the single "Green Garden". The song is an elegy to her home in Kings Heath.
On 6 December 2012, Mvula was shortlisted for the Critics' Choice award at the 2013 BRIT Awards. On 9 December, she was nominated for the BBC's Sound of 2013 poll, and finished in fourth position. On 1 February 2013, she gave a live TV performance on The Graham Norton Show on BBC One, singing "Green Garden". Read more on Last.fm.
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