Stylistic versatility whilst maintaining consistent standards is just one of the many things that distinguishes the talent that is BASHIYRA. Soulful, mesmerising and smooth are just a few of the words that describe her inimitable voice. With a repertoire that spans reggae, soulful house, neo-soul and jazz, BASHIYRA has an ability to captivate, move and entertain diverse audiences. The greatest example of this capability was her rousing performance at The Opening Ceremony of The London 2012 Paralympic Games and a subsequent personal thank you letter from UK Prime Minister David Cameron
Never one to rest on her laurels, the multi-award winner leapt in spring 2013 by setting a new World Record – BASHIYRA become the first Independent Artist to achieve 4 concurrent positions in one chart. The consecutive releases, I Won’t Worry, You Haven’t Seen Nothing Yet, The You In Me, and Don’t Get In My Face, all charted in The Top 50 RnB Charts DPP (USA). Whilst the heavy-hitter, I Won’t Worry, simultaneously held the #1 position on The Urban/RnB/Crossover Top 40 Breakouts Chart (USA), and the Number 30 position on The Sweet Rhythms Chart (UK), having previously peaked there at #2.
BASHIYRA established her career in the 90′s working as a backing singer for artists ranging from the iconic Queen, Michael Bolton, to the legendary Patti Labelle and Diana Ross. Her prowess as a songwriter, producer and arranger has been recognised by The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees, Gamble and Huff, the production duo responsible for The Sound of Philadelphia.
2009 saw the release of her refreshing debut, THOUGHT YOU KNEW, a balanced mix of neo-soul, jazz and dance harnessed by her rich, soulful and emotive voice. This successful self-release led to BASHIYRA receiving ‘The Soul Baby Live Award 2011’. In the same year, Black Women in the Arts awarded BASHIYRA ‘The Nina Simone Award’ for her outstanding work in the area of jazz (which was acknowledged and endorsed by the official legacy estate of Dr Nina Simone).
The London-based singer, songwriter, producer and arranger performs internationally and has passport stamps from all continents. She was the first international artist to sign a production deal with NuVybe Records (USA), the label headed by Herb Middleton, an industry veteran who has worked with Raheem DeVaughn, Teddy Pendergrass, Mary J Blige, Al Green, Ann Nesby, Phyllis Hyman and Kenny Lattimore.
Never one to keep her talents to herself, BASHIYRA has spearheaded various educational initiatives that utilise the power of music. As a vocal coach she has facilitated singing, song-writing and composition workshops in schools across many boroughs including the London Borough of Westminster. Dedicated music establishments which have utilised BASHIYRA’s coaching skills include The Midi Music Company and The Rock School. Her most recent educational project is Empirical Arts – a literacy and numeracy program which aids schoolchildren and adults.
Aug 5th 2013 will see the release of the refreshing EP, ONE SHOT AT LOVE, on Expansion Records (UK) a balanced mix of neo-soul, smooth jazz and RnB harnessed by BASHIYRA’s rich, soulful and emotive voice. Produced by Amar Naik (Zed Soul Productions) with shared song-writing contributions from BASHIYRA, Amar and David Nathan (Founder of SoulMusic.com, music historian, billboard contributor and global authority on soul music) this promises to be a robust musical alliance of the highest standards.
2014 will see the release of the sophomore album, INDEPENDENT, which is sure to deliver more chart-climbers and accolades with production credits to Herb Middleton, Peter Moore Productions (LA Reid). BASHIYRA will write with Crystal Johnson (who has written for Mariah Carey, Jennifer Hudson, Anthony Hamilton and Angie Stone) and Richard Rudolph (who co-wrote the Minnie Riperton classic Lovin’ You).