Born and raised in Cumbria, the green north of England, in a rural area with the beauty of nature, historic buildings and a strong community culture.
Grew up singing in church and at festivals, the Harvest Festival being a favourite of mine with villagers all crammed into a little chapel on a hill celebrating the abundance of vegetables with songs, my Great Aunt on the organ and lots of tea and cake.
Learnt classical piano from a young age and took lessons on various other instruments such as the clarinet and cornet even though I was aiming to play the sax! Eventually I tried out the sax and loved it, followed by guitar. However, it is utterly singing that is my first commitment. I now use piano and guitar for songwriting inspiration and piano for my one-to-one vocal tuition.
Started songwriting at 14. Joined various singing groups, choirs, societies and workshops over the years and across genres including gospel, musical theatre, pop, folk and world music.
Took singing classes at Liverpool Performing Arts Centre whilst at university (not studying music unfortunately but business although helpful!)
At 22, I completed the Jazz and Pop Vocal short course at Leeds College of Music, which changed everything for me. My world was opened up to the versatility and expressionism of jazz. During this time, I was working at Harrogate Theatre, a wonderful experience of being immersed into a creative world with directors, set and costume designers, production teams, actors, writers and working with youth and outreach groups and all the admin, marketing, design work and funding that goes into running a theatre, productions on stage and outdoors.
Saved up and spent a year travelling, being inspired in California, New Zealand, Australia and Southeast Asia. Am grateful to have enjoyed an abundance of experiences from hiking up glaciers to wandering in the Vietnamese Sapa mountains to reading in a hammock on a Thai island.
On return, more songwriting, collaborating with other musicians, went back to college – Cumbria Institute of the Arts – to take an AS-Level in Music Technology (A). Began singing regularly at a local Arts Cafe in Carlisle on the folk and blues nights and performing some of my own written songs. Took private singing tuition, and am still inspired, from the musical talent who is Janice Jackson.
An avid lover of the world, people and culture, and with a growing concern for the social inequalities of the world, I went on to study a Masters in Anthropology of Development and Social Transformation at the University of Sussex. Here, I also undertook a short course in Digital Ethnographic Film-making led by Dr Michael Yorke, a BAFTA nominated and award-winning anthropologist film-maker.
Spent an enlightening two months in India and Nepal trekking in the Himalayas, absorbing the wonder of life around the Ganges, and learning from highly skilled creative locals in Rajhasthan in dress-making, silk painting, sari-embroidery and a traditional Indian style of singing.
After moving and falling in love with Cornwall in 2009, I took vocal coaching from the hugely inspirational Ley Adewole – award-winning in her own right in gospel music and a session singer and backing vocalist for internationally acclaimed artists.
After being asked to tutor a lead singer of a band through a local recording studio, I fell into vocal coaching and have loved it ever since.
Leading a community choir throughout 2013 gratefully allowed me to test out my musical arranging skills and reignited my passion for harmonisation and the benefits of singing as a group.
At the beginning of 2014, I was privileged to be asked to join the The Grace Notes, one of Cornwall’s leading funk soul gospel jazz reggae bands, as a backing vocalist. We now focus on gospel, soul and jazz and I also regularly sing lead vocals too. Apart from performing all over Cornwall and beyond, this has led to session singing work and, hugely, learning more about the music industry as a music professional.
Another life-goal trip to Tanzania involved me singing in Swahili with a choir in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro in 2015, further developing my love for harmonies, nature, culture and learning about the world.
Currently, I have happily gone back to my green roots and reside with my husband and dog in a beautiful rural location near Truro, Cornwall, UK. I am a lucky recipient of Arts Council funding to develop my creative practice as a jazz singer, writer and arranger. I teach singing in my studio, perform and lead singing in healthcare settings, continue to perform with The Grace Notes aswell as a solo artist and in my jazz duo/trio. I am also madly inspired working with other creatives and bringing together my experience of team- and confidence-building, mentoring and group work with my love for nature and singing in my Wild Singing Workshops and Samphire Choir Outdoor Singing Sessions.