Cleo Sol launched her music career almost two decades ago on Tinie Tempah’s track Tears. Yet, she’s only just started touring. “Wow,” Sol wrote on Instagram following a late May 2023 show at the Royal Albert Hall in London.
Cleo Sol is Serbian, Spanish, and Jamaican
Cleo Sol was born Cleopatra Zvezdana Nikolic on 24th March 1990 to a Jamaican father and a Serbian-Spanish mother.
Sol’s parents met in a jazz band; her father played bass and piano; her mother specialized in the guitar and flute. In a family of eight children, Sol stood out as the most talented singer. Motown, Acid Jazz, Latin, and Reggae often played in the family’s Ladbroke Grove household, serving as Sol’s musical inspirations.
She told The Vogue that Stevie Wonder’s Don’t You Worry Bout a Thing was the standout song of her young career. “It’s inspirational in terms of putting together a track, the technicalities of the song, and how Stevie sounds so perfect in just one take. That’s how music should be,” Sol stated.
The singer maintains a close relationship with her mother; the name ‘Sol’ is Spanish for the sun. A photograph of Sol’s mother hanging on a wall features on the cover of her album Mother. Sol and her baby resting on her torso also feature.
Mother, Cleo said, is ‘the most transformative, uplifting, heart melting, strength giving experience thus far that led me to write this album’. The candid album details the lessons Sol learned from her mother, her experience as a mother, and the lessons she hopes to pass on to her child.