Meredith Ezinma Ramsay, professionally known as Ezinma [Eh-zeen-mah], was born in Lincoln, Nebraska, to a Guyanese father and German-American mother. She first picked up the violin when she was three years old. As a mixed race girl raised in the Midwest, Ezinma felt she didn't belong, but that mixed cultural and ethnic background influenced her musical upbringing and molded her into the versatile artist she is today.

A precocious child, Ezinma's talent was noticeable from a young age. When auditioning for her middle school's orchestra, Ezinma placed third chair. She was shocked because the players in front of her weren't as advanced she was. Her father used this moment to teach her an unforgettable lesson: "People aren't going to see you for your talent, but your skin color. It isn't enough to be good, you need to be the best." Feeling she had been misjudged, Ezinma stood up for her talent, used the orchestra's chair placement challenge system, and went on to serve as first chair until she graduated.

In high school, Ezinma won scholarships to study and perform in Italy with world-renowned faculty and attend prestigious music festivals, including Interlochen Summer Academy. Despite this early musical success, upon entering the University of Nebraska Ezinma planned for a career in medicine, pursuing a double major in biochemistry and violin performance and a minor in mathematics. It was here that Ezinma first studied with Hyeyung Yoon of the Chiara String Quartet.

Pivoting back to her professional violinist goals, Ezinma won a scholarship in 2012 to complete her master's degree in violin performance at The New School in New York City, where she studied with Laurie Smukler. It was in this time that Ezinma began to experiment and find her unique sound. In addition to performing at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and Symphony Space, Ezinma took production classes, studied jazz violin, and joined bands, using all of these lessons and tools to push beyond the the classical genre.

Ezinma catapulted into digital stardom when she began performing covers of viral trap hits on her violin, including "Mask Off" by Future, "Gucci Gang" by Lil Pump and "Rockstar" by Post Malone. In 2016, She was approached by Beyoncé with an offer to be a part of her all-female band. Ezinma accompanied Beyoncé at the end of her Formation World Tour and through the release of Lemonade, and performed with her at Coachella in 2018.

Ezinma has also worked with the likes of Stevie Wonder, Yo-Yo Ma, Kendrick Lamar, Joshua Bell, Clean Bandit, Sza, Mac Miller, A$AP Ferg, and countless others. In 2019, Ezinma signed with Decca Records US (Universal Music Group) to release her own music.

In addition to her music, Ezinma is an advocate for music education. In 2020, she launched the nonprofit foundation HeartStrings, a music-based youth development program for children K-5 of diverse backgrounds. Ezinma strives to increase visibility and access for children of color, so that more kids can feel like they are seen and heard in classical spaces.

Ezinma resides in Brooklyn, NY, where she enjoys reading, kickboxing, running, and fashion.

The Young Strings of America program is operated by Shar Music

SHAR logo

website © 2022 Shar Music