Mission: TO CONTINUE WRITING & PERFORMING MUSIC AS A SOLO ARTIST AND WITH OTHER MUSICIANS
It was whilst we were both working on the Events team in At-Bristol that, Bashema told me she was a musician. Since then she’s been going from strength to strength with her music and it’s great to be able to write about her today.
When Bashema was just a child, her musical abilities became apparent! “I have been playing since before I can remember, my mum tells me about all the musical things I got up too when I was really young. I used to take my mum’s pots and pans from the kitchen and arrange them in the front room, like a drum kit I would then place my toy piano next to me and bang my drums then bang my toy piano. This was my musical debut in the world of music!”
As she got a bit older she taught herself to sing & play the keyboard by ear, taking inspiration from songs she heard around her on the TV and radio. Music is also something which runs in her family. “My uncle on my dad’s side was a well known Jamaican reggae musician called Keith Hudson. Another uncle on my mum’s side was a saxophone player, and I have a cousin who is a Hip Hop artist in New York called Keith Tryfle Hudson Jr (son of Keith Hudson).”
Now that Bashema has established herself as a solo singer/songwriter, she has started performing in various clubs, bars and restaurants in and around the Bristol area. Her style includes Jazz, Blues, Soul, Pop and Classical. “I’ve performed at Glastonbury Festival, supported Toploader at Gloucester’s Guildhall, Colston Hall, Bristol Harbour Festival, International Balloon Fiesta and Bristol Pride. I’ve also released a few E.P’s, ‘Writer’s Block!’ (2009) & Double Single titled ‘Liberty’ (2010) ‘Go with the Flow’ (2012) and recently released a Double Single titled ‘Tell Her/Sing’ (2017) with a music video for Tell Her.” She is also the lead vocalist in a 8 piece all female Funk, Soul, Jazz band called Meet Your Feet and has been singing with them for around 4 years now. “We have released, ‘Unfinished Business’ EP which was released in December 2013 and single called ‘Bristol People’ which was released in December 2014.” And if that wasn’t enough, she is also part of an amazing choir called Sing Out Bristol who are the South-West’s Award-Winning LGBT Community Choir. “We can regularly been seen performing in and around the Bristol area including, Bristol Pride, St Georges Concert Hall, Hand in Hand in Manchester and Leyhill Prison in Gloucester.”
Bashema is proud of all of her achievements within her musical career. “I have had the opportunity to perform for lots of different audiences of all types of backgrounds and being able to connect them all via music. I am also proud of the different musical projects I am in as they are all very different to each other and involve me using slightly different skills.”
Doing something just because you love it, is one of the best reasons I can think of, and it’s exactly why Bashema performs. “All I can remember is always enjoying music, whether it be listening or playing. It’s an amazing rush performing live as there’s a lot of uncertainty. Anxiety, mistakes, and situations beyond your control can always happen, (bad weather, or technical difficulties for example), but you always take that risk because, when it goes right, it can be the best feeling in the world, a natural high that no amount of alcohol or drugs can compete with. That is why I love to perform and keep performing, learning new songs, writing new material, finding different ways of performing and finding new ways of connecting with the audience, which in turns helps you to connect with yourself.
The biggest thing that Bashema has had to overcome, is the fact that she is a self-taught player. “It’s something I still feel I’m trying to overcome too. I don’t read music so everything I learn is via ear, listening to the music to work it out. I do this in all styles including classical and do this for piano and/or vocal. I have had the pleasure to work with a few classically trained musicians in the past and musicians who can sight read music really well, working with those musicians has taught me that although I don’t read music well, I can still work alongside them and not be left behind.
This has also taught me that me being able to listen to music and work it out is a skill within itself which I should be proud of as not everyone is able to do that. I can work out music notation if I need to, but I always find myself coming back to my comfort zone of learning by ear, that is how I started to play and that is how I most enjoy learning music.
Bashema has just released her Double Single in the foyer at Colston Hall. “I was very excited about this and it went really well! I also plan to record my first album next year and to hopefully do a tour of it. Other plans are just to enjoy the music, performing and the people I meet through music.” If you’d like to catch Bashema she performs every Friday 19.00 – 21.00 at Pizza Express in Clifton. “I will also be performing at Salt Cafe on the 21st October, ‘Bradley Stoke’s Christmas Lights Switch On’ on the 18th November, and Meet Your Feet will be performing at The Fiddlers on November 11th to raise money and awareness for Macmillan Cancer Support Charity.”