Josephine Oniyama is Manchester’s answer to Dionne Warwick, but with a sprinkle of cayenne pepper on top. The small cramped room in Soho House was full of important conversation. It’s a monday night and business things had been happening all day.
I even heard someone say, “poor girl it’s really loud in hear no ones going to be listening.” How wrong they were. The conversation continues over the opening chords, however silence fell as soon as Josephine’s vocals reached our ears. Starting with ‘A freak A’, Josephine’s personal favourite, lyrics ask people “if you have a mask, put it on” and soon we are captivated by her skilled storytelling music.
Portrait gives a haunting edge to Josephine’s voice and ’What A Day’ brings in an up-tempo western twang to her set. Throughout it’s apparent just how talented the wonderful Josephine is but left many of us wondering why such a talent waited so long to release her debut record.
Album Portrait had just come out on the day of the gig and in Josephine’s own words “was a huge relief” - an eight year journey filled with its ups and downs and finally here it was.
The gig really showed off Josephine’s musicianship and vocal ability. Finishing with ‘House Of Mirrors’, even Josephine seemed surprised at her own vocal control and skill. An effortless and divine performance from an artist who truly deserves a lot more recognition.