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The Venus Bushfires is a creative collective of one and many, of which Helen Epega is the only constant member. The Nigerian-British singer-songwriter, composer and performance artist explores the ethereal sounds of the ‘hang’, the power of the talking drum and the quirks of children’s toys cross-fertilising multiple visual and musical styles.
Helen harnesses influences from avant-garde, psychedelic, tribal and meditative arts and draws inspiration from musical and creative pioneers such as Fela Kuti and Kate Bush, creating music and stories that explore the sensual and the spiritual. She describes her music as Afro-Sonic. She became known for her captivating and trance inducing live sets, immersive performance-art shows and impromptu sound journey displays in unusual spaces.
Her talents have been called upon to create music for Christian Dior, Sony Play Station, Disney, Oxfam, British Asian Trust (one of HRH Prince Charles’ personal charities) and her songs have been featured on international television and documentary films.
In 2008 she orchestrated the world’s first ever “hang flash gig” at the Lovebox festival in London which was broadcast on Channel 4 in the UK.
In the summer of 2012 she found herself playing percussion with Sir Paul McCartney which she says was a “huge and surprise blessing that came out of nowhere.”
Her work has been celebrated globally and featured on BBC, CNN, TVC News, The Guardian UK, Channel 4 UK, Reuters, France 24, Le Monde, The Guardian Nigeria and many others.
She founded the Just A Day initiative in 2008, an initiative which designs and facilitates world-class expressive arts workshops globally, using music and other art forms to engage, inspire, empower, heal and unite.
She wrote and composed the world’s first pidgin (broken English) opera ‘Song Queen: A Pidgin Opera’ which debuted in London in July 2015. The ground-breaking opera has been performed in London and Cape Town and in 2019 was performed in Lagos, Nigeria for the first time.
‘Song Queen: A Pidgin Opera’ returns to London in 2021 and debuts in New York later in the year.
Her second opera production ‘What Can I Do You For: A Cockney Opera?’ is set to debut on the London stage in the autumn of 2021.
The Venus Bushfires’ new EP ‘Shapes Of A Human Heart’ will be released in the spring of 2021. Her music, self-titled fashion line and merchandise are available from www.thevenusbushfires.com