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  • Writer's pictureAnne Connor

Premiere: Canadian Singer-Songwriter & Producer, Enyonam, Releases Video For Debut R&B Single 'Self-Conscious'

Toronto singer-songwriter and producer Joy Enyonam Phillips emerges as artist ‘Enyonam’ (pronounced En-yow-nam) and drops a new video in advance of her self-produced contemporary R&B debut single release for “Self-Conscious” on Friday, April 5, 2024.

To celebrate, Enyonam holds her single release party at The Dakota Tavern (249 Ossington Ave., Toronto, ON, M6J 3A1) on Sunday, April 28, 2024 at 7:30 p.m. – where she will also be highlighted as the Freefall Sunday featured artist (free admission!).

Despite an upbeat groove, “Self-Conscious” is a heartbreaking anthem that explores universal themes of love and self-esteem. The track seamlessly fuses elements of classic R&B, jazz and modern beats – blending relatable storytelling with an infectious melody.

Self-Conscious” – available (via DistroKid) on all digital channels on April 5, 2024 – was written, produced and mixed in Toronto by ‘Enyonam’ herself (she also co-produced Jacquelyn Tober & the Rose County Ramblers 2020 EP). The single features ‘Enyonam’ on vocals and guitars, plus, as sole producer, she created all the sounds and instruments on the song – including saxophone, synths, electronic drums and percussion. It was mastered by Michael Evans of Annex Audio.

Enyonam states, “I’ve experienced a profound artistic transformation, so my debut single ‘Self-Conscious’ is an important milestone – I can't wait for people to hear it! To me, the track embodies the universal feeling we've all experienced, but for some reason nobody talks or writes about. It's a song that anyone who has ever felt self-conscious or struggled with self-confidence can connect with.”

The name ‘Enyonam’ originates from the Ewe language, spoken by the Ghanaian tribe of her father and ancestors. In English it means “good for me.” To the artist, it represents positivity and resilience and embodies her identity as a Black, female artist living with the autoimmune disease, Lupus. She aims to inspire other artists with disabilities to pursue their dreams.

Rising from the vibrant Toronto music scene, ‘Enyonam’ is influenced by artists like H.E.R., Olivia Dean and Sabrina Claudio. She has performed for years as Joy Phillips, releasing a folk, singer-songwriter EP titled ‘Reckless’ in 2015, and, as one half of husband-and-wife blues-rock duo ‘Mr & Mr,’ released their self-titled EP in 2021. Her grandfather William Phillips was a talented pianist, who played in a jazz band, and she has shared the stage with numerous Canadian artists, including Julian Taylor, Angela Saini, Blues Brothers and Blue Rodeo.

For years Phillips worked at music venues in Toronto, booking bands and doing live sound (The Central) and hosting a weekly open mic (Slacks Bar); experiences that provided a solid foundation in audio engineering and sparked her interest in music production. More recently in 2021-2022, her father-in-law and jazz guitarist Gene Evans (who toured with the Platters) supported her transformation (folk to R&B) by providing jazz guitar lessons.

Since nine years-old, Phillips was raised in a small rural community called Donagh – near Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island – and, always music obsessed, she studied voice from the age of 15-18 with soprano Sung Ha Shin-Bouey (award-winning opera singer and music professor at the University of Prince Edward Island). Upon turning 18, she made a move to Toronto to study musical theater at Randolph College for the Performing Arts.

At 22, Phillips was diagnosed with Lupus, which hindered her ability to dance and pursue a career in musical theatre. The artist recalls that chapter as the darkest time in her life. “To receive such a life-altering diagnosis when you’re young was truly devastating,” she says. “Songwriting was my solace and a way to vent my pain; I give everything to my songwriting, I don’t hold anything back.”

Ottawa-born, Prince Edward Island-raised, Toronto-based Canadian singer, songwriter and producer Joy Enyonam Phillips, emerges as artist ‘Enyonam’ (pronounced as En-yow-nam). ‘Enyonam’ embodies her identity as a Black female artist living with the autoimmune disease, Lupus and her style boasts pop/R&B, overflowing with sultry-jazz undertones. She has performed in Toronto as Joy Phillips, releasing a dynamic folk, singer-songwriter EP titled ‘Reckless’ in 2015, and, as one half of husband-and-wife blues-rock duo ‘Mr & Mr,’ released their debut, self-titled EP in 2021.



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