Jo Kelsey, 22, who lives in Golders Green, has just realeased her debut EP Matchbox. She talks to Amie Mulderrig about moving to London, being a woman in the music business and teaching piano.

How would you describe your sound?

My sound is acoustic/soul/alternative – very loosely! I have a great relationship with my guitarist and we usually just jam and try out anything and everything.

You moved to Golders Green from Birmingham to pursue your musical career – how have you found that?

At first moving to London was pretty scary, it was my first time really out on my own, with the chance to design my life how I wanted. I did some stupid things and had a few adventures, but it’s been an amazing journey.

Talk me through your EP Matchbox.

How long has it taken to put together? Matchbox was actually recorded in one afternoon! The songs I had written during the time when I moved to London, and are about my experiences and what I discovered about the world.

How did you record it?

We decided to record everything live to give the listener the feeling that they could be in the same room as us, we kept it as raw and original as possible to bring as much of the music, lyrics and emotion across as possible.

Have you encountered any barriers?

The main barrier I’ve found is how difficult it can be to be a female in the music industry. It’s shocking that this is still the case.

When did you discover you could sing?

I always remember singing since I was very young, I never considered the option that singing wouldn’t be what I did!

Who/what inspires your music?

I’m inspired by everything I do and see, conversations I have or just sitting on a park bench feeling peaceful!

Which musicians do you look up to?

I’m a big fan of the greats – Etta James, Aretha Franklin, and Janis Joplin is a massive influence!

What’s your day job?

I work as a music teacher, in both piano and vocal lessons. I’m also very lucky to perform a lot and support myself through singing.

Are you signed to a label?

I’m currently an independent artist, with management from SouLounge. (

What would you like to achieve career-wise?

Music has the power to really help people and I’d like to be a part of that!