CMU Playlists

Playlist: Josephine

By | Published on Thursday 9 August 2012


Singer-songwriter Josephine Oniyama, or just Josephine to use her professional title, has been a favourite of CMU since we first heard her warm, soulful voice on debut single, ‘I Think I Was Love’. And we’re not alone in our adoration; it was another fan, Elbow’s Guy Garvey, who took her to a studio to record her first demos.

Her debut album, ‘Portrait’, is due out on 8 Oct via Ark Recordings, with new single, ‘What A Day’, released on 20 Aug.

Ahead of that, we asked Josephine to put together a playlist for us, about which she said: “I think this playlist reflects various different aspects of what I do in my own music. I like to blend folk, jazz, blues, good rhythms and good riffs. All these songs have elements of this. Many of these artists have been inspirational to me over the past few years while I have been making my album”.


Click here to listen to Josephine’s playlist in Spotify or listen via multiple sources on Tomahawk, and then read on to find out more about her choices.

01 Björk – Earth Intruders
The sounds in this song, individually, are so strange but together they amount to some amazing rhythms.

02 Vampire Weekend – Campus
I love this band and this song. Makes me smile and dance.

03 Cat Power – He War
The simplicity of this song gets me every time, the guitars are just really powerful.

04 Brenda Holloway – Every Little Bit Hurts
This song, for me, gets the award for best vocal performance. The way she sings it is just perfect.

05 Otis Redding – Respect
Although Aretha’s version is brilliant as well, I think when Otis sang ‘Respect’ it had so much grit and urgency.

06 Kings Of Leon – Milk
For me Kings Of Leon came along at just the right time. In the space between what I grew up on and exploring music as an adult. It optimises their earlier simplicity. Pure riffs and adolescence. I loved it when you couldn’t understand what he was saying.

07 Grace Jones – This Is
Grace Jones is a totally unique character and her music reflects that, or she reflects her music. This song really fired me up and made me properly discover Grace Jones. Before she was just the strange woman with the whip in ‘Boomerang’.

08 White Stripes – Girl, You Have No Faith In Medicine
I love the way the White Stripes do rock. Their earlier stuff was so raw and Jack White’s voice on this song is at it’s best I think.

09 Martha Reeves And The Vandellas – (Love Is Like A) Heatwave
I can’t stop dancing when I hear this song. It’s a Motown classic which I’ll always love. It helps that Whoopi Goldberg sang it in ‘Sister Act’!

10 Iron & Wine – Bird Stealing Bread
I think Iron & Wine is such a gem of a writer. This song is, to me, one of his best. He’s a classic storyteller but has such a unique way about him.