Interview | Introducing…Josephine

Hearing Josephine Oniyama for the first time made us very happy indeed, and forthcoming single ‘What A Day’ had us dancing around and telling all our friends how ace it was. This bodes very well indeed for her debut album of the same name, out on the 20th August, and which we can’t wait to get our grubby little mitts on. Like fellow precocious new-comers Lianne La Havas and Karima Francis, the Mancunian-born Josephine blends folks, soul and country in a mature and sensitive way, knowing how to balance the loud and the quiet, the fast and the slow. Watch out for this one folks, she should be huge.
Hello, please introduce yourself and your music to the uninitiated.

My name is Josephine, I’m from Manchester. I write songs on my guitar and then I use folk, pop, indie and joyous influences to surround them in recordings.

Tell us a bit about your latest release?

‘What A Day’ will be the first single from the album ‘Portrait’. It’s a song about how every day we encounter people who change us, for better or worse, purposely or unconsciously, but somehow we’re changed by them anyway.

What was your best ever gig?

The first thing that comes to mind is a tour I did with Jimmy Cliff a long while ago. We played some really great venues, the crowds were so enthusiastic and inviting and Jimmy Cliff is a total legend, so it was a bit of a dream come true.

What’s the worst thing about being a musician?

The uncertainty. I’ve been on stage in the past thinking, ‘is this the last gig I’ll ever do?’ Sometimes you haven’t been able to find any more gigs or you haven’t got any money to get to the next gig. It’s a tricky business, one which can leave you on the scrap heap at any point.

What inspires you?

Being happy, there’s nothing like it. When I’ve spent the evening with good friends or family or just had some good times I feel totally focused and creative.

If you won a billion pounds what would you do with it?

First I’d part with some to a charity like save the children or Marie Stopes International who do amazing work with women and children in poverty around the world offering them choices. I’d get all the members of my family a nice house to live in and I’d build a recording studio/house to live in myself.

Which of your songs is your favourite and why?

‘A Freak A’. I enjoy playing it live, it’s fun and has a positive message.

What are you plans for the future?

Writing and releasing as much music as I can. Seeing the world with music as my driving force.

Finally, we’re always looking to expand our musical horizons. Do you have any recommendations of bands or artists we should be looking out for?

Theme Park, Gideon Conn and Carnivals