Josephine Ejiroghene Oniyama (born 1983 in Manchester) is an English singer-songwriter. She has released two albums and a number of singles.
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. She has Jamaican and Nigerian roots that are reflected in her songs, which cover genres from gospel and country to soul music.
In 2002 Oniyama released her debut album A SMALLER VERSION OF THE REAL THING via Storm music Ltd.Steve Long/Dewsbury. a champion of Oniyama’s music sent out copies to Radio stations throughout the UK on the premise she was the 21st century Odetta, 10 years later in 2012 Oniyama released her 2nd 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 BBC Radio 2). The album received positive reviews from The Guardian,The Times,The Mirror,Q and Mojo. The single “Portrait” was played on Radio 2 and was released at about the same time as the album.
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 Electric Picnic.
In 2015 she contributed by singing on four songs on the jazz album Into Forever by Matthew Halsall & The Gondwana Orchestra.
In 2016, Oniyama appeared on Scottish band Travis’ eighth album, Everything at Once. She is featured on the track “Idlewild”.