Selah Poitier is a bassist, vocalist, songwriter, musician, producer, actress and activist hailing from the beautiful islands of The Bahamas. To Selah, music is storytelling and is a powerful tool for social change, healing and spiritual transformation. Her musical philosophy is that musicians may come from completely different cultural backgrounds and social climates, but all come from the same root and commonality which is ‘humanity’. That is what makes music so relatable to listeners from all over the globe.
Selah was born into a family of preachers, singers, songwriters and musicians. She began playing the piano at the of age 4, produced her first track at the age of 9, and later discovered her love for singing and acting in local films, stage plays and musicals all with lead roles. At 13 years old, she sang in a group that opened up for International Gospel Artist Israel & New Breed. She developed her musical ear by playing piano in local churches.
Selah entered The Bahamas' Ministry of Youth, Sports & Culture's Junkanoo in June Song Competition after singing, writing, producing and performing her own song “What’s going down” and placed 3rd after performing live on stage in front of thousands of locals and tourists for the first time at the age of 15. She has played in The Bahamas National Symphony orchestra as a double bassist, funded by receiving a scholarship from the local Government in their apprenticeship program. Selah also became the first and only female double bassist in The Bahamas
From a very young age, Selah’s passion for the preservation of culture and raising awareness of social issues in The Bahamas was incontestable. She began using the same intensity she would use to present local speeches and write to local newspapers through her songs and poems. She found her voice and purpose through these experiences.
Selah believes that musicians are born into this world with an undeniable purpose to be freedom fighters and activists using their influence to raise the awareness of people through their art and music. Her aim is to help transform the world using her music as a tool to address the human condition, give people hope, uplift people’s spirits, unite Nations and express spiritual essence.
Selah is also influenced by Esperanza Spalding, Amy Winehouse, Stevie Wonder, Erykah Badu, Nina Simone, Marcus Miller, Christian McBride, Eddie Gomez and Lalah Hathaway. Her musical style is situated at the crossroads of influences such as jazz, hip-hop, blues, neo-soul, R&B, gospel, reggae, rake ‘n’ scrape and Junkanoo (traditional Bahamian music). She describes herself as a messenger and freedom fighter and looks to Michael Jackson, Lauryn Hill and Bob Marley as her heroes and inspirations. Selah's highly anticipated EP is set to be released this fall 2015 and her debut album is set to follow up in the spring of next year.
Selah Poitier performs her original song "I've learned to love me" from her upcoming albumlive at Berklee College of Music's David Friend Recital Hall.