Josephine Oniyama is an English singer-songwriter with Jamaican and Liberian roots that are reflected in her songs, which cover genres from gospel and country to soul music.
Living in the Manchester suburb of Hulme, Oniyama grew up in a colourful West African culture combined with the large musical heritage of Manchester which shaped her style. She was playing gigs by the age of 15. During her college years she was further influenced by Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, and Bob Marley.
In 2012 Oniyama released her debut album Portrait which was produced by Leo Abrahams. The album also features co-writes with Jimmy Hogarth and Ed Harcourt. The album was preceded by singles 'What A Day' and 'Original Love' (A-listed on Radio 2). The album received positive reviews from The Guardian, The Times, The Sun, The Mirror, Q and Mojo. The single 'Portrait' was played on BBC Radio 2 and was released at about the same time as the album.
Oniyama appeared on 'Later with Jools Holland' and the Andrew Marr Show and more recently performed live from Glastonbury on BBC2.
In 2012 Oniyama backed up Paolo Nutini, Michael Kiwanuka, Rodrigo y Gabriella and The Noisettes in live concerts. She toured with Paloma Faith across her UK tour in early 2013 as well as undertaking her own headline tour in April 2013. Her festival appearances in 2013 include Glastonbury, T in the Park, Latitude and The Electric Picnic.
The album Portrait was released in Germany, Austria and Switzerland on July 5, 2013.