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Offiong BasseyVocalist, Jazz, World
Singer/songwriter and poet, Offiong Bassey, is an exciting artist who draws upon the numerous influences that have touched her life. As the first generation from her Nigerian family born in the U.S., the soul, jazz, and gospel music of America reside within her just as comfortably as the musical traditions of West Africa. She brings to them her unique ear for harmonies and phrasing, her ground-shaking, power vocals, and her unmatched versatility to create music that is fresh, inspiring, and just plain fun. Her talent has garnered praise from diverse audiences, including South African youth in Johannesburg, attendees at the U.S. Africa Business Summit in Washington D.C., to Jazz enthusiasts at the world-renowned Scullers Jazz Club and RegattaBar venues in her hometown of Boston. She was honored to perform for the Obong (King) of Calabar, Nigeria and the Governor of Cross River State, Nigeria. As of late, she has been featured on WCVB’s CityLine program and NPR Radio Boston with live in-studio concerts and she has been profiled by The Boston Globe twice.
Many influences have contributed to Offiong’s unique sound. The first of these was her namesake, her grandmother, who sang traditional songs from their Efik tribe, imparting to Offiong the power of music and the richness of her cultural heritage and storytelling tradition. She found further inspiration in other great artists including Angelique Kidjo, Fela Kuti, Lauryn Hill, and Jonathan Butler. At a young age, Offiong began to see the meaning of her name, “God’s Moon,” as a call to be a reflection of her creator’s light, as the moon is to the sun, through story and song.
Her debut album, “Offiong Bassey” (released on her label Moonlit Media Group), is a nuanced, mosaic of songs that truly represent who she is as an artist – a genre-bending mix that includes Afro-Peruvian rhythms, funk, R&B and Nigerian Ekombi. The album debuted at #2 on the CMJ New World Music chart its first week in radio promotions and reach #4 on the Soultracks music chart.