I come from a long line of incredible but unknown female singers. The only woman who came close to taking her voice out of the home was my paternal grandma who spent her teens singing in bars in the east end of London. One of my earliest childhood memories is secretly listening to my mum sing along to Tracy Chapman in her beautiful deep alto tones. It always seemed like a crying shame that their voices have never been heard outside of our home! My voice came nowhere close but I always loved to sing and play and was born with their passion for song in my bones.
We were always encouraged to play music at home and our dad was always discouraging us from following a traditional path in life. Throughout my life he has always pushed me to stay out of the office and on the road.
Musically I followed a classical path to begin with and after moving back to the UK from Australia began playing the piano at 7 and wrote my first song shortly afterwards. I went on to play flute in the school orchestra and sing in the choir then my dad bought me my first guitar for my 12th birthday and my classical path was done.
I started out playing in bands at school with girlfriends, playing my first live show at 15 on a beach in Spain and then left home at 16 to move back to the UK and worked 3 jobs to put myself through music college. It was here that I fell in love with harmony work and started playing the bass.
At 18 I moved to London to pursue music but instead had a breakdown. It was around this time that addiction took over my life but somehow I managed to tour the UK and Europe with a punk band for a few years before ending up sofa surfing, deep in addiction and in desperate need of some stability.
So at 23 I quit playing music, got sober and went into the music industry instead. It was during this period of time that I was exposed to Indian classical music and began to learn the tabla, which opened the doors to other folk instruments and eventually ended with my finding the banjo and Josh.
Josh finally gave me the security I had been seeking all along and after 29 moves in 29 years I finally settled in Milton Keynes and found the music that had been calling to my soul all along.
Photo: (c). Imelda Michalczyk 2019
Outside of Hope in High Water I am a yoga teacher and women’s circles facilitator offering opportunities to explore cyclical living and wildness through yoga, nature and menstrual cycle awareness through my company Moon Forest Flow.