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Phenicia (Magazine Feature)

Ahead of the launch of our magazine 'Jazz Revelations: Issue 1 - Leeds' on Wednesday 3rd May at Wharf Chambers, we will be sharing snippets from the different articles in the magazine.

Today, we take a peak at what's inside the article Phenicia:

A person sings into a microphone on stage looking into the camera

The conscious rapper and songwriter chats about religion, spirituality, their love for gospel and choirs, and finding their feet in the Leeds scene over the past couple of years

Coming from a large family that moved around Chapeltown whilst growing up in Leeds, the role of the church has had a big influence in Phenicia’s upbringing.

“My dad is a preacher, and it was an everyday thing Monday to Sunday. You sing your praise, you worship. I’m so grateful for the way that I was raised.” Their family’s love for music and its presence throughout their childhood has made making music a calling for them, particularly from listening to black gospel music.

“Gospel has had a big influence on my life. All my top listened to playlists are gospel music. I listen to Fred Hammond, Israel Houghton, The Clark Sisters, Kirk Franklin, and Maverick City Music. Listening to the choir and the voices harmonising in that way does bits for me. My whole family was musically inclined and the seven of us sang as a family.”

“I learnt to play drums when I was four. My dad played bass, my uncle the keys, and us three used to play at the back of the church. My family had ideas of me wanting to be this and that, so when I told my mum I wanted to study music, she said “are you serious?””

“I was very headstrong, and I knew that music was my thing and singing was the only thing I knew how to do. Then I figured out how to play guitar after my dad taught me three chords when I was eleven, and I knew this is me.”

Their music teacher in high school let them practise in break times on the guitar or piano in the music rooms. After starting to write songs, Phenicia used their writing to process what’s going on in their heads. “If I have so many thoughts in my brain, or just an overwhelming feeling whether it’s good or bad, I feel I need to put it down somewhere. Writing has definitely been my sense of therapy if I can’t think straight.”

Often the themes that come out Phenicia’s music reflect their attitude to life as an activist and learning about the world as they have grown up and found their own independence. Their track ‘Conscious Evolution’ reflects this understanding of the changes they were going through.

Read more in the 'Jazz Revelations: Issue 1 - Leeds' magazine

An image of red, yellow, orange colours featuring abstract shapes of a singer, a saxophonist, and a drummer plus the text: Jazz Revelations Issue 1 Leeds Magazine Launch, with performances from Phenicia, Jake Mehew and the Olivia Cuttill Quartet, proceeds go to MAP Charity, Wharf Chamber LS2 7EQ, 1930 03.05.23
Artwork by @misc.etc_

The magazine features artists in Leeds producing jazz, R&B, neo-soul, hip hop and electronica music, including:

We are hosting a launch gig on Wednesday 3rd May at Wharf Chambers to celebrate, with performances from the Olivia Cuttill Quartet, Jake Mehew, and Phenicia headlining.

Proceeds from the launch and magazine sales will go to MAP Charity, a pioneering alternative provider in creative education based in Leeds. They offer music and arts qualifications to young people at risk of exclusion from the mainstream school system. Find more about them here.

Wharf Chambers Co-Operative Club is a members’ club, and you need to be a member, or a guest of a member, in order to attend. To join, please visit Membership costs £2 and requires a minimum of 48 hours to take effect.

In the magazine, you can expect to find in-depth interviews and crate digging with artists, release roundups, an extended feature of our radio piece 'On Rotation', looking ahead to the future talent in the city, a little history on the city's scene, plus a mix to accompany your reading.

The magazine is audio-described as well for those with different accessibility needs.

A big thanks goes to Emma Jones (@emmajonesillustration) for her design work in the magazine, and to Hugh Roberts (@misc.etc_) for the cover design on the magazine and the gig poster.

Thanks to Yasmina Nahas for her contribution to the magazine, and Ally J Steel for his support throughout the project.

And a special thanks to Ben Lee, editor-in-chief of the magazine, for producing the whole project.

We hope to see many of you down at Wharf on 3rd May to support the Leeds scene.

Keep following the Jazz Revelations website, or our Instagram and Facebook pages for sneak previews of the magazine leading up to its release.

Ticket & Bundle Prices:

£5.50 - Magazine only

£7.50 - Launch advance ticket only

£9.50 - Launch OTD ticket only

£12 - Magazine + Launch advance ticket bundle

£14 - Magazine + Launch OTD ticket bundle


1930 - Doors open

2015 - Olivia Cuttill Quartet

2115 - Jake Mehew

2215 - Phenicia


Please consider making a donation to The Runnymede Trust and/or the Race Equality Foundation to help further equality within the UK.


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