Cee Josephs - From Tragedy To Peace and Triumph
The versatile gospel singer/songwriter,
nutrition guru, on how family life and Church taught
her to sing, and how tragedy propelled her into the
Josephs remembered at the age of 4, or 5 being on
stage at a church concert, reciting poetry, with her
father as the prompter. She could not remember the lines,
so she started singing instead. At six years she was
the youngest member of the choir, and in subsequent
years, it seems she was always the youngest member of
any choir or group that she sang with. And they were
many. Her mother was a great soprano, and my father
sang baritone and played the guitar.
When she was about 16 years
old her pastor’s wife predicted that she would
be great one day. Well ‘great’ is relative.
She believes most of the things she has accomplished
were done well.
But she still thinks there
is so much more that God has in store (for her to do),
and she has all of these God-given songs and ideas that
she wants to share with the world.
There were fourteen in her
family, including her parents, and everyone had his/her
favorite genre of music. So she listened to everything.
Most of her siblings were older than her. Oddly enough
she seemed to be the only one that enjoyed listening
to classical music for long periods of time. She found
it so peaceful. Her parents noted that, and sent her
to piano lessons. As a teenager, on Saturday nights,
if there were no church social, Cee
Josephs would curl up in the living room and listen
to soul music of the ‘50s through the ‘70s.
Cee Josephs’ family was
blessed growing up in the church, and every morning,
and most evenings they would have worship, at which
they would sing hymns. Cee knows just about every hymn.
Most of her family sings well, and even the family dog
would sing at worship. At church there was youth meetings
and here you get the opportunity to sing, act, and recite
She met Bob Marley as a young
girl. Cee Josephs went once to hear him perform at an
Cee's sisters also knew The
Jamaicans, who would hang out at their house at times.
Strangely enough, her mother was the best friend of
record producer Duke Reid’s wife, yet as a singer
she never entertained the thought of going in the studio.
she thought that the studio was considered evil. It
was pretty much only secular music was being recorded
at the time, and of course, they were Christians. She
listened to every kind of music and artist. She drew
inspiration from music, art and life. She sang songs
of Sandi Patti, Anita Baker and Whitney Houston, before
recording her own.
Cee Josephs was molded by two
decades of classical voice training. In high school
she won several medals and awards in the annual Jamaica
Festival of Music competition. When she immigrated the
US, she immediately began voice and piano lessons. One
of her teachers, Despina Pestesi, thought she was promising
in piano but observed that all she seems to want to
do was sing. Her teacher did not want to take her money
in vain, so she stopped piano, again, for the third
time. As a soloist she sang with groups like The Roy
Prescod Chorale, doing works as Mendelsohn’s ‘Elijah’,
Shubert’s ‘Stabat Mater’, Gounod’s
Messe Solonnelle', to name a few. As a paid soloist
with The Flatbush-Tompkins Congregational Church in
Brooklyn NY, she sang such works as Handel’s ‘Messiah’,
Dubois ‘Seven Last Words of Christ’, With
the choirs of the famed Riverside Church in NYC, and
the historical Plymouth Church of the Pilgrims, Brooklyn
NY, as the soloist, she performed and recorded Paul
Halley’s ‘Freedom Trilogy’ in the
1999 ‘Great Music At Plymouth’ concert series.
This Caribbean gospel singer with locks may just surprise
you with her classical voice.
After the tragic death and
funeral (at which she sang) of a very close family friend,
she was approached by her husband and invited to visit
his studio. Up to this point she was singing covers,
mostly Christian and Traditional. He encouraged her
to start writing, and she found that her Christian upbringing
(studying the bible and singing hymns) made it so much
easier. Cee Jospehs first album,“Peace Within
Me” was produced in 1997, by Junior Gentles, the
same individual that invited her to his studio. She
later learned that he was the founder of the group Home-T-4.
After the album was released
she toured all over the US, Africa, Canada and the
Caribbean, and sold it at concerts, church conventions
and services. She shared the stage with Yolanda Adams,
Direct Messengers, Wintley Phipps, and the American
Hall of Fame inductee Joseph Niles, and popular local
artists. she has her albums in Christian bookstores
and in the Internet stores, amazon.com and CdBaby, as
well as all the music download sites. she also gets
radio airplay across the country, and in countries where
she has performed.
The second album, “3
Way Calling You. God. Me” , is more rhythmic as
she became more comfortable in writing The Word in contemporary
form. The same is true for my third album, , “Ready
To Walk". Her music also educates as it entertains,
showing the benefits of having a good relationship with
each other, living peaceably with each other under the
grace of God. That is the goal of her music. It’s
certainly not about making money. She could have gone
the other route. Time is short, and she is lusting for
more people to hear her messages, God’s messages
in her music. She truly believes He wants her to do
Joseph's Official Website