Debi was born in Catford, South East London and grew up in Bromley. She has a brother drummer and improviser Mark Sanders, and a sister Anna.
Mark heavily influenced Debi's early musical taste as she'd listen to whatever music he was into.. .
my beautiful mum Ella
In her early teens she heard Punk music and was totally excited by it's energy. She joined friends rehearsing and performing in local garage bands and eventually joined a girl band called 'The Spiders' who performed and supporting bands like 'The Nips'.
In her twenties Debi starting working with Bands
'Chapter and The Verse' and 'Skylab' touring and recording. as well as working with other artists such as Howie B, Davie Ray Moore.
Aged 30 DebI had her first child Stan, and didn't feel that touring with bands worked for her anymore. When Stan started school it came to light that he was experiencing racist comments.. She mentioned this to her best friend Jan Blake (world renowned storyteller) who encouraged her to start storytelling in the school. Jan armed her with some great Afro Caribbean stories. After witnessing
the impact it had on children, Debi was convinced of the transformative power storytelling had on the children and on her.
Going on to have two more children and continuing storytelling, Debi found herself writing her own children Songs, she taught herself music software and started recording, and she accumulated a large catalogue of songs.
Reflecting on her own childhood experiences, Debi realised she'd been left with
a lack of identity and a feeling of not belonging, but what was always her sanctuary was her imagination and creativity.
So writing children's songs and discovering world stories, in particular African and Afro Caribbean stories, has become a journey of self discovery as well an opportunity to help children understand the world around them, and help them
gain a feeling of self worth and belonging.
Learning music programmes was a real struggle at first, but eventually she amassed a catalogue of musical stories and songs. She took these songs to her good friend and former band member, Skylab's Matty Ducasse, he really liked them and agreed to produce some of them. Also Debbie was fortunate to have some of Britains greatest jazz musicians play on her tracks, as well as the chance to work with another former band member, Chapter and the Verse's Aniff Cousins on other tracks.
She still enjoys performing with various artists including her brother Mark Sanders's outfit Staggerlee Wonders. Alongside Mark she has also performed with Saxophonist and composer Rachael Musson at Cheltenham Jazz Festival the for radio 3's Jazz Now, and at Cafe Oto, on Rachael's composition 'I went This Way'.
Debi has worked with Mati (Matty Ducasse) for many years, having sung in Matty's Band 'Skylab'. When she began writing her children's songs, he was her first port-of-call to help produce them, adding his magic and humour, he made the songs Shine, Ping, Buzz, and Zing ! Together they have amassed a huge catalogue of Debi 'n' Mati Songs.
They love to perform together and have performed at Camp Bestival
Debbie was introduced to Oren Marshall and his 'Jazz for Toddlers' classes and immediately appreciated the calm and embracing atmosphere he had created. Something magical happened when they joined their skills of Storytelling and Music, and a wonderful class for adults, babies and young children evolved.
Recently Debi and Oren produced an album of 'Belly of the Whale stories and songs for the family'.