The Sound Cafe
Soulful British Singer-Songwriter Josephine Oniyama Releases 'Burn' Ahead Of Forthcoming Album
‘Burn’ is the third single to be released in 2022 by the soulful singer-songwriter Josephine Oniyama, who was born in Manchester but is now based in Liverpool. It follows ‘Tears Will Never Be Mine’ and ‘Human’, songs that reintroduced her to fans after a period out of the spotlight and that have received airplay on Radio 2, 6 Music, BBC Merseyside and BBC Manchester. Both previous singles formed part of the recent ‘Human’ EP, while all three are included on Oniyama's long-awaited new album, ‘Kindred’, which is set for release on 4th November. Stating that ‘Burn’ is about “letting go of people who are unkind or have treated you badly, feeling no regret in doing so,” Oniyama describes ‘Kindred’ as an album that “focuses on human connections, friendship, family, love and being strong through adversity. It’s about going on a journey together, sharing life with others and each of us striving to be the best we can be along the way.” With its combination of electronic and acoustic elements, ‘Kindred’ also reflects Oniyama's exploration of diverse sounds in recent years; a period in which she has not only listened to powerful female artists such as Grace Jones, Lana Del Rey, Joanna Newsome and Alison Krauss, but has also rediscovered earlier influences like Ali Farka Touré, Bob Marley, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Joni Mitchell and Bob Dylan, all of whom had been inspirations when learning guitar in her teens.
‘Kindred’ appears a full decade after ‘Portrait’, Oniyama’s second album and a record that was issued to stunning reviews. Praised for its fusion of folk, soul and jazz, songs from it were A-listed at BBC Radio 2 and playlisted on 6 Music, XFM and Jazz FM. Oniyama also performed on Later With Jools Holland. The Andrew Marr Show, Saturday Night Live (Ireland) and a number of mainland European TV shows. Two headlining tours were further backed up with sets at major festivals (Glastonbury, Latitude, T In The Park, Electric Picnic) and support slots with Paloma Faith, Madeleine Peyroux, Michael Kiwanuka and Paolo Nutini. Oniyama’s talent was recognised by a diverse selection of her peers, leading to collaborations in the mid-2010’s with Travis (with whom she recorded the song ‘Idlewild’) and jazz producer/trumpeter Matthew Halsall (she co-wrote three songs for his acclaimed ‘Into Forever’ album). More recently, she was commissioned to create two live scores for the launch of HOME, the Manchester international contemporary arts centre; 'Celluloid History Songs’ was a set of new songs written to accompany silent footage from the North West Film Archive, while the centenary of the classic occult documentary ‘Haxan: Witchcraft Through The Ages’ was given an ambitious new score by Oniyama and students from the University of Salford. Fusing song-based and electro-acoustic sounds, these projects further expanded her creative ideas and skills as a songwriter, arranger and sound artist.
Oniyama has also spent time earning an MA degree in English and became a mother while writing and recording ‘Kindred'.