A few days ago I spoke about Leona Lewis’s meteoric rise to stardom. But Leona isn’t the only one representing the abundance of Black British talent which exists in this country. As a Easter holiday tribute I thought I’d give a round up of a few other dynamic young women who are making the world sit up and take note.
As we speak, Estelle’s new single ‘American Boy’ has stormed to the top of the I-Tunes download chart and looks set to be her first No.1 single. Estelle’s success is all the more sweet, because her journey towards stardom hasn’t been easy. Although signed to Virgin records initially, after disappointing record sales she parted ways with her label and soon found herself isolated from the music industry. John Legend luckily still had faith in her talent and offered her a record contract on his new label, Homeschool records. Last year she moved to Brooklyn to record the album ‘Shine’ which is scheduled to be released here in April 08. And it’s a fantastic album too. Featuring collaborations with Wyclef, Kanye West (as you know) and Mark Ronson, the album will undoubtedly do well on both sides of the Altantic, I couldn’t be more happier for her.
For those who thought that Primark was just a place to find mouth-watering fashion bargains at the same cost of a meal at Nando’s, were wrong. For 18 year old Jourdan Dunn from West London, the Hammersmith branch was to be the location responsible for transforming her life from every-day teen to international model. When Vogue magazine declares a model as the face of the future, you have to listen. Especially if that face belongs to a chocolate toned beauty with high-cheekbones and almond shaped eyes. Hailing from West London Jourdan had apparently never even been on a plane when she took New York Fashion week by storm last year. She has since done a landmark 75 shows, and featured in the last Benetton ad campaign.
For a lady of such small stature, new artist, Nayo is certainly making a lot of noise on the music scene. Last year she released her debut single ‘African Girl’, which despite achieving quite a lot of press, didn’t appear to do much commecially. The album was pushed back but will finally be released at the end of this month. Described as a contemporary Sade, Nayo’s music is smooth, melodic and calming – perfect for unwinding after a crap day at the office. Like Estelle, I have a lot of admiration for Nayo because of her tenacity. I interviewed her a few weeks ago and she told me that she travelled to Los Angeles to track down a hugely successful song-writer she had admired while back in her country of birth, Nigeria. While many of us would end the story right there with an anecdote about not finding the song-writer but picking up a convincing Gucci bag rip-off instead, Nayo actually not only met the song-writer but got a record deal with Sony as well. Although the deal eventually lapsed, she’s now back doing her own thing independentlty. Check out www.nayomusic.com