This, from UKZambians caught my eye – following in the footsteps of the likes of Anna Mwale, Samantha Mumba and Emile Sande!
“A new emerging talent is about to make waves on the music scene. Soul singer Stephanie McCourt (above) has signed with the UK record company, Unstoppable Music Group. The label is headed by music executive Ben Wynter, who has previously worked with some of the world’s biggest artists, including Destiny’s Child, Nas and Mariah Carey. Stephanie, whose mother is Zambian and father Irish, has been singing since she can remember and says ‘Zambian music is the most beautiful music to me, it has real heart and soul.’
At the age of 9, Stephanie’s parents enrolled her with legendary vocal coach Tona de Brett, who has also trained the vocal pipes of Lily Allen, Dido and Duffy to name a few. Like most aspiring artists, she had a hard time finding someone that would recognise her talents and spent years drifting in and out of bands, working with various producers and trying to find out who she was, creatively.
That all changed when she met music producer EFX, owner of the London based, Hot Money Studios. The beat-maker who has created tracks for Esmee Denters, Jay Sean and Wiley, introduced Stephanie to Wynter, who instantly saw potential in the young songstress and signed her to his label.
On how her Zambian heritage has influenced her, Stephanie says :
“Zambian culture has had a heavy influence on me. From traditional foods like wild mushrooms and okra yum yum to Rumba music. My mother is from Ndola and in the past I have flown over many times to visit family. I have seen both contrasting parts of Zambia, from the shanty towns, to the Victoria Falls. Livingstone is one of my favourite places on earth, the Falls and wild life took my breath away. My most memorable moment when visiting Zambia and that is still very close to my heart, was when I went to bury my grand-dad. It was my first experience of a traditional Zambian funeral and though extremely heart breaking, it was during this time I got to hear the local choirs which moved me deeply. There were no instruments, just pure voices singing harmony, it was blissful.“
Stephanie’s next step is completing her EP due for release this Spring 2014. She will also be hitting the London music circuit, performing at numerous venues leading up to its release. On her future the singer says; ‘Failure isn’t an option, I’m born to sing and now I’m unstoppable so its destiny, things have to work out.’