Sylvia Tella’s music career spans over two decades. She is a talented singer and a brilliant songwriter. Her natural ability and creative skills is only a small part of the bubbly personality of Sylvia Tella.
A devout Christian, Sylvia has the Almighty in focus at all times. “I am more committed to do things that I know I have been called to do, everybody has a destiny and a purpose in life.
Born in Manchester, England her origin is the rich blend of Nigerian and European parentage. Sylvia began singing with her father’s band at the tender age of seven. Sylvia entered a talent contest at thirteen at the infamous Russell Club in Manchester, which she won. Discovered by Frank Farion (manager of Boney M) at fifteen gave her the opportunity of touring worldwide and the experience she needed to launch her solo career when the group disbanded.
Sylvia Tella is the first lady of UK Reggae with her distinguished reputation in music, her illustrious career has led to collaborations and solo projects in R & B, Jazz and Rock. She was a featured vocalist with a few of England’s top recording artists such as RCA’s protégé gothic rock band Pop Will Eat Itself, Bronski Beat and the Blow Monkeys. She also teamed up Longsie D, Pinky, Akabu the all-female reggae band and Vivian Jones. She wrote a track for BB Queen with George McFarlane of Rondor Records.
International performances has expanded Sylvia Tella’s audience, with tours such as Reggae On The River concert series, and along with Steel Pulse, the return of The Spirit Of Unity Tour. Sylvia first performed with Steel Pulse in 1998, since then she has made an indelible mark on music fans all over. It is her changing styles, natural talent and charisma that has gained her international success.
Winner of Best Female Vocalist at England’s People’s Reggae Awards, Sylvia also enjoyed the number one reggae hit with the inspiring Tina Turner ‘What’s Love Got To Do With It’. Also notably she was the winner of the first Black Women’s Achievement Award, where she proudly delivered this message to her fans on that happy Saturday night October 3rd 1998.
“I am extremely pleased to have been voted the winner of the Arts and Entertainment category of the Awards. It is important for me to be seen achieving the highest standards in my profession. It is also important for all women (not just black women) to know that our efforts can be publicly recognised. So all women must be encouraged to strive for the supreme goals”.
In combining her ability and creativity Sylvia seems to outshine her previous performance as in New York (1999) where she performed alongside Sugar Minott at his birthday celebration at the famed SOB’s Nightclub.
While in New York she recorded Heartbreak Hotel and Turn Your Lights Down Low (featuring violinist Tamara) at Living Room Studio’s under the production of Sidney Mills. “Time of Change” was featured on the internationally known reggae video show Rockers. With time permitting Sylvia teamed up with the production team of The Fugees (Renel and Jerry) Recording Can’t Stop - a cutting edge reggae/hip hop production.
Working in both markets that of reggae and mainstream Sylvia’s hit songs were released as singles such as He’s My Baby, When Your Young, Love Is A Dangerous Game, Happy Home, Sweet Like Honey, Jamaica Land, Brothers And Sisters, There Is No Love, Mother Nature and Spell to touch on just a few.
With today’s quest to recapture the essence of live band recordings, Sylvia is more than ready to embrace the new millennium.
“Tella Like It Is” - the long awaited new album produced by Sidney Mills,Barrington Bailey in combination with Mafia and Fluxy, it is an uncompromising ‘no hold barred’ musical statement of Sylvia Tella. It brings out her diverse approach, unique sultry vocals and the creative gift of the writer, producer and arranger.
As she states: “If the vision is there, then the facts don’t count. Regardless of your background, whether educated in the arts or not, if you believe, have determination and a whole heap of faith that all is possible.”