Sister Ese

Born Ese Okorodudu, Sister Ese is of Nigerian parentage and grew up in Bermondsey and Peckham in South London. Aspiring from a young age to be an actress and entertainer, Ese attended a stage coach at weekends and applied to the BRIT School.

But missing her interview, she sodded off to the Camden Underworld, look shedloads of drugs and proceeded down the parallel path of rock music, in particular inspired by Skunk Anansie, Alice In Chains, the Pixies, Led Zeppelin and her ultimate idol, Jimi Hendrix. Given a Tanglewood guitar by her mum for her 16th birthday, she had found her instrument.

Songwriting started to flow in Ese’s twenties, and she faced the public for the first time at open mics in Wimbledon and Raynes Park in South West London. Meanwhile, Ese studied to be a social worker at Brunel University. This chapter in Ese’s life ended tragically when her boyfriend succumbed to cancer, and, running out of money, Ese had to cease her studies.

Rebuilding her life and writing songs shaped by her personal tragedy, Ese found she could just about keep body and soul together as a busker in East Croydon, Waterloo and Brixton.

Jamming during the regular lock-ins in the basement of the Queen’s Head in Stockwell Road, Brixton, Ese met Rob Spragg, aka the Reverend Larry Love of Alabama 3. A growing musical friendship with the Alabama 3 family while also developing her own band, Ese & The Vooduu People, led to being invited, along with Vooduu People backing singer Sheena Ross, to join them on tour in November 2018.

Her favourite gig with Alabama 3 was the Highest Point Festival in Lancaster in May 2019, not just for the show’s energy and quality but because she met Sister Sledge and Grandmaster Flash.

Ese continues with both Ese & The Vooduu People and Alabama 3, where, as well as supplying backing vocals, she often takes a live cameo in the spotlight singing and playing her own songs with Alabama 3 her backing band.