When Bashema was just 3 years old, she would get her mum’s pots and pans out of the kitchen and arrange them in the front room like a drum kit. Along with her toy piano, this was her musical debut.
When Bashema was 4 years old, her mum bought her a Yamaha keyboard which she taught herself to play by listening to tunes on the Radio/TV and then trying to copy them on her keyboard.
From the age of 8 she started writing poems and stories; at 12 she started singing in her school gospel choir and started taking piano lessons, but, unfortunately was unable to continue with her piano lessons so went back to teaching herself.
Upon leaving school, Bashema studied performing arts at Filton College. There she met like-minded musicians and began performing live with her Yamaha keyboard at various Open-Mic Nights in Bristol.
At 19 she secured a place and attended the prestigious Access to Music College in Bristol.
After finishing college, she worked at Oppo Music bar where she ran her own Open Mic nights, promoted music events, and performed regularly.
In 2008 she started working at BCFM Radio co-presenting The Bristol (UK) Music show with Steve Parkhouse.
Shortly after, she was invited to be a guest on local Bristol record label, Jelli Records.
In 2009 she performed at Glastonbury Festival playing on the Bandstand stage and live on Worthy FM Radio.
Jelli Records has produced Bashema’s E.P titled, ‘Writer’s Block!’, and her Double Single titled, ‘Liberty’.
Bashema (along with local musician Trish Brown) have written and released a single for ‘Cots for Tots Charity’ titled, ‘Lullaby’. The single was recorded at St George’s Hall with backing from the Bristol Ensemble String Quartet.
All of Bashema’s music is available on iTunes and all major download sites.
Celestine was born in Bristol and rose to national recognition when winning the grand final of the BBC TV programme “Star for a Night” with a stunning performance of the Nina Simone classic ‘Feeling Good’. This led to performances at the Royal Variety Show, The Albert Hall and the opportunity to work with a diverse range of producers -True North, Stargate, and songwriters Gary Barlow, Tony Moore. However break-through at that point was not to be.
Collaborations followed with:
• Spooky on the album “Open” which saw one of the tracks penned by Celestine – ‘Strange Addiction’ – used on the Ving Rhames film Shooting Gallery. “This is one of the best albums I’ve had for a long time…. Both are absolutely wicked in there own right… Emotional soulful vocals and wicked melodies over all the tracks… The more I listen to it, the more I love it”
• Crucial Records on ‘Garage Gospel Volume 1’ track ‘All of Me’ with Nigel Ipinson-Flemming (The Stone Roses).
• Celestine then collaborated with Sonic Syringe to produce a 5-track EP called ‘Inside’. In 2009 one of the tracks, [These Streets] reached No. 1 in the Ujima 98fm Charts and remained at No. 1 for 6 weeks; it also received airplay from BBC Radio Bristol. ‘Inside’ was the start of the journey to find her true place in her musical journey.
Performances followed with regular spots at The Coronation Tap and local and national festivals and as support act for Pee Wee Ellis/Fred Wesley, Tarrus Riley/Etana, John Holt/The Temptations at o2 Academy and Mica Paris.
This next stage is her journey brings to the table the 12-track album “Secret Side”, recorded entirely with live musicians – With many of the lyrics penned by Celestine herself, Secret Side is on occasion “a funksome blend of soul and jazz…with a voice of perfect poise coming through…” In addition tracks like ‘This Baby Still Cares’ and ‘Prophecy’ shows her more mellow jazz style. “Secret Side” is a great addition to all music lovers’ collections.
Celestine has a natural jazz/soul vocal style which moves effortlessly through different genres of music – “a singer with a really hauntingly beautiful voice” and “an inner beauty that shines through”. Celestine is at her best when performing live and has captured the essence of her live performances and song writing on her debut album ‘Secret Side’. Infusing Soul, Jazz, Funk and Blues rhythms with velvet vocals, ‘Secret Side’ has songs to suit all moods.
Secret Side is available for download on iTunes, CDbaby and Amazon MP3; physical copies from http://www.amazon.co.uk.
Zion Flex has always been naturally fresh and fly. A Singer/Songwriter and Artist. She has worked with producers the likes of critically acclaimed Roots Manuva back in ’03. She studied Content Creation for Broadcasting and New Media and holds Bachelor of Arts with Honours 2:1 from Ravensbourne College, England. In 2009 she self-released her debut acoustic album with Tom McAllister “An Exercise in Scales and Balances” and later in 2010 her first electronic sampler “The Eau”.
To date Zion Flex has performed acrross the world to name but a few Winter Music Conference, (Miami, U.S.A) and Marsatac, Marseille (France), OPA (Paris, France) Bicao Papao, (Milano Marittima, Italy) Christiania Radio, (Copenhagen, Denmark). The Winston, (Amsterdam, Holland). Shambala Festival (UK), Bloom Festival (UK) and most recently in 2011 completed a tour of the Balkans.
“Zion Flex. With a style that draws on her many musical influences – from jazz, soul and black spiritual songs to trip hop, folk and classical – combined with a pretty unique aesthetic and a seemingly relentless work ethic, she really has what is necessary to stand out from the creative cluster that seems to be nearing saturation point at the moment. Her spoken word poetics and spellbinding singing voice merge with nu-jazz-neo-soul-hip-hop melodies, to create a listening experience that you’re left in your mind long after the music stops.” STYLE 43, UK
“Du hip-hop à la soul, en passant par le jazz et le ragga, son premier album “An Exercise on Scales and Balances” est d’une essence trip-hop à la Bristolienne. Zion Flex cultive l’éclectisme, au point qu’on pourrait la placer au carrefour des styles d’une Coco Rosie et d’une Keny Arkana croisée à Beth Gibbon. Poli-artiste… de Bristol, la chanteuse Zion Flex envoute par son charisme de danseuse hip-hop et son flow extraordinaire, mélodieux et très personnel qui alterne un phrasé rythmé et rempli d’émotions avec des phases slow et tranquilles, plus progressives, tirant presque vers le slam. Encore peu connue sur la scène internationale, elle effectue une véritable percée dans le milieu depuis l’an dernier, avec une participation au Winter Music Conference (Miami, U.S.A), collaboré avec Roots Manuva, une prestation scénique pour le festival Marsatac, tourné clips et interviews.” – Victor Sas (CTV) France
“Zion Flex je mlada dama koja pored pisanja, pevanja i repovanja radi kao model, slikar i bavi se plesom. Mix jamajčanskog porekla i bristolskog rodnog okruženja čine Zion Flex originalnom, svežom i nikako običnom” – Butchaa MensenJah, Serbia
“Zion Flex – Soulful and poetically driven, Zion flex’s singing and rapping synergise to create her own unique and beautiful sound … Influenced by Jazz, Hip- Hop and old black spiritual songs. An artist that refuses to be restricted and continues to break the mould” GIRL WONDER, UK
“Zion Flex – Smooth, sultry vocal flowing straight from the heart drift above swirling guitars, representing true soul with hypnotic effect” SOUL CLASH, UK
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