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AAA Music | 24 June 2024

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Josephine – “Phoenix”

| On 20, Aug 2012

This is how crossover music should be done. Plenty of popstars dabble with hiphop productions in a bid to sound contemporary, rock bands endlessly employ string arrangements with the aim of adding some class, and hiphop artists regularly cut in classical music samples in the hope of duplicating a sense of the epic. Josephine and her London based ensemble seamlessly mashup opera, pop, indie rock, and hiphop, and in such a way that doesn’t dilute any one genre.

Josephine (aka Josephine Permaul) is a 22-year-old Classical singer and songwriter, and ‘Phoenix’ is her debut EP. Upon the first listen, you may well think it sounds completely mental, and you’d be right. But stick with it, because as ludicrous as it is to hear a UK rapper (Paul Anderson) spitting Jamie T-esque rhymes over classical music fused with jangly indie, and in-between bursts of Josephine’s awe-inspiring operatic vocals, it completely works. More importantly, it sounds incredibly fresh.

Tracks like ‘Dear Father’ and ‘Identity’ showcase Josephine’s pop vocals and are heavy on the hiphop vibe, while standout highlight ‘Prioritise’ is the most rock-driven track, with dark, swelling strings and a melancholic heart. The most eccentric (yet endearing) tunes are ‘Zadok’ and ‘O Fortuna’, which feature reworkings of Hanel’s ‘Zadok The Priest’ and Carl Orff’s ‘O Fortuna’ respectively, and show off Josephine’s massive operatic range.

Out 15th August, it’s well worth your time, because no matter what the hell your genre of choice is, Josephine and her merry band (consisting of guitar-bass-drums, a strings trio, rapper and backing singers) are making mighty interesting and innovative waves. ‘Zadok’ is now available for free download from the Josephine Official Facebook page.


Clive Rozario