Described as Manchester’s soulful chanteuse, Josephine released her widely acclaimed debut album ‘Portrait’. The album was produced by Leo Abrahams (one-time Brian Eno’s guitarist, and producer to Grace Jones and Nick Cave) and Josephine worked alongside Jimmy Hogarth (Amy Winehouse, Estelle, Suzanne Vega) plus a host of renowned musicians including Polar Bear’s drummer Seb Rochford, and Mercury Prize nominee Ed Harcourt.
Around the album release, Josephine performed on “Later…. With Jools Holland” and the Andrew Marr show and had singles featured on BBC Radio 2’s A-list and was also featured and play listed on the likes of 6 Muisc, XFM, Jazz FM.
Josephine was born in the Manchester suburb of Hulme before soon moving to nearby Cheetham Hill, Josephine soaked up the musical heritage of the city and that of the household, like a sponge. “I always knew I’d be musical,” she admits. “In the house I’d hear lots of old records, such as Fela Kuti, and King Sunny Ade were played by my mum quite a lot. She’s got really great music from all over the world.”
Born to a Liberian mother she’s enjoyed the advantages of a colourful West African culture as well as feeling intrinsically British.
Her mother proved to be the catalyst for a future career in music, buying the twelve year old Josephine a guitar – clearly on the right path; the first gig was just three years later upon finishing high-school. During College the precocious performer developed further by avidly listening to Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, and Bob Marley. These early influences really impacted heavily and seeped into the song-writing. “I learned a lot from their story-telling techniques and the more complex rhythmical style they used,” she remembers. “Reggae taught me to feel the music and that writing a song could be different to the way I imagined before.”
Her tenacity and drive saw things build quickly during the nascent beginning. ”When I was writing some of my first songs I was literally waking up, going to work, then to a gig, and getting back at midnight only to do it all again in the morning.” It was this obsessive impulse to make music which soon saw her support big names including Jimmy Cliff while still in her teens.
Josephine has since toured with the likes of Paloma Faith, Madeleine Peyroux, The Noisettes and Michael Kiwanuka as well as headlining her own tour of the UK and Europe. Josephine has played numerous festivals including Glastonbury, Lattitude, T In The Park and Electric Picnic. Josephine is currently writing for her greatly anticipated second album.
“An extraordinary talent”
Sunday Times Culture
“A versatile and substantial new talent”
“an original, unfolding talent”