Vanessa Maria was raised on the Holmewood council estate in Bradford, West Yorkshire where she was influenced to start making music by the celestial sounds of M83, The 1975, SZA, Lana Del Rey and The Weeknd. Her songwriting expresses raw emotion and honesty and aims to inspire people to be self-confident, mindful and to express their own creativity. Her sound blends together alternative r&b with ethereal dream pop occasionally sprinkled with 80's glitter.
In the past year Vanessa has performed a plethora of shows, including playing at Manchester’s Dot to Dot festival. She was handpicked by artist development company Punch Records to go on her first UK tour in summer 2018, representing Manchester. She played Indie Week in October, followed by her biggest show to date supporting Brit Award and Mercury Prize nominee Kate Tempest at the Women Of The World Festival.
Starting out in 2014 as a teenage busker on the streets of Bradford and Leeds, Nessa subsequently appeared at many venues in Yorkshire and Humberside, including both stages at Brudenell Social Club and Headrow House in Leeds. She supported many successful signed and self-produced national and regional artists including Maverick Sabre, Rhodes, Frances, Marika Hackman, Dornik, Skinny Living and Westerman.
In her second year as a semi-professional in 2016, Nessa performed at Live At Leeds Festival, Bradford Festival, Saltaire Festival, the Great British Food Festival, Routes Festival and Bingley Music Live, where she opened the emerging talent Discovery Stage with Anne-Marie as the headline act.
Moving across the Pennines to study songwriting at university in Manchester, she met her band and started to experiment with a new transcendental sound. She quickly made Manchester her home, working the music circuit with headline appearances and in support of artists including Cassidy Stone, Joseph J. Jones and Polo. Her Manchester gig venues have included Gorilla, The Deaf Institute, The Castle Hotel, Gullivers, Band In The Wall and the O2 Ritz.
Dancing around on stage in her pyjamas, Nessa recalls tales of coming of age, sneaking out to raves, first love and the nostalgia of youth. She describes her journey of moving city, dealing with the darkness of social anxiety and sharing the shameless confessions of a 20-something’s hotel room rendezvous and crawling home at 5am.
"Her trip-hop sensibilities make everything she does effortless" "We were overwhelmed by her talent... she's great." Alan Raw, BBC Introducing In West Yorkshire
“STRAIGHT OUTTA BRADFORD!” DJ Target, BBC 1Xtra
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