Yorkshire based singer, songwriter and producer Sam Thornton, better known by his stage name King Zepha, has had a busy year so far. Shortly after finishing off his new album King Zepha’s ‘Northern Sound’, which was recorded at his 8-track home studio in Leeds, he was signed by Happy People Records and chosen to open the London International Ska Festival at the O2 Academy in London, on the same bill as Georgie Fame and the Jamaican singer Owen Gray, one of the founding fathers of reggae. This was followed by a three week tour of the UK and Ireland, including a headline performance at the Irish International Ska & Reggae Festival.
Sam lives in Leeds and his family come from Brighouse. He cites growing up in the “cultural melting pot” that is West Yorkshire as one of the reasons that his musical tastes are so broad. “Growing up I was exposed to all sorts of music,” he remembers. “My parents are huge fans of live music and they’d take me to watch traditional jazz in Huddersfield, South Asian classical music at Bradford Mela and Jamaican dub and reggae at Leeds Carnival. All of these sounds had a big influence on me and have probably seeped into my own music.” Sam has help realising his music in the form of a 5-piece band, including “honking saxophone, thumping double bass, skanking guitars and raucous 4-part vocal harmonies,” not to be missed!
King Zepha’s Northern Sound is available on CD, 12″ vinyl or to download, from http://kingzepha.bandcamp.com
UK Tour dates
FRI 31 MAY – HUDDERSFIELD Small Seeds
SUN 16 JUNE – SELBY Selby Fun Day
SUN 21 JULY – SHEFFIELD Tramlines Festival @ Leopold Square
MON 22 JULY – CANTERBURY The Anchor at Wingham
SUN 28 JULY – MIDDLESBROUGH Town Hall
SAT 14 SEPT – FOLKESTONE Skabour Festival
SAT 21 SEPT – COVENTRY Ska Friend In Need Festival @ Coundon Club