Tributes have been paid to Beldina Odenyo Onassis, who passed away on November 5th.
Family of the Scots-Kenyan musician, who performed under the name Heir of the Cursed, announced her untimely death via social media.
The Kenyan-born musician moved from Kisumu to Dumfriesshire with her family as a child, before relocating in Glasgow.
She had been a familiar performer around the Scottish scene for the past few years but was viewed very much as an up-and-coming talent especially given that few releases exist.
However, she was a standout performer at both the 2019 SAY Awards ceremony where she played a short solo set, and at the 2021 version just a couple of weeks ago, where she performed a track from a past winner of the award, ‘The Bird’ from Kathryn Joseph’s ‘Bones You Have Broken’.
Organisers of the SAY Awards passed on their condolences to Onassis’ family, describing her as “an undeniable and incredible talent,” while Kathryn Joseph simply said “there is no one more beautiful. our hearts are broken.”
As well as composing for the National Theatre of Scotland production ‘Lament for Sheku Bayoh’, Onassis also worked with Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival, commissioned to write a song, ‘A Way From Rage’, for the Mental Health Foundation’s 70th anniversary in 2019, as well as a poem for this year’s Hope Sculpture project.
Arts programme officer Andrew Eaton-Lewis, said: “Beldina was an extraordinary, multi-talented artist as well as one of our favourite human beings.”
She was also part of the ‘Hen Hoose: Equaliser’ project, contributing ‘Burn It All’, a collaboration with Inge Thomson. while a single, ‘Footsteps’ with Joseph Malik, came out in September.