A singer-songwriter from South Wootton has beaten thousands of hopefuls to the regional finals of a national singing competition and is set to perform in front of hundreds next weekend.
Former King Edward VII School student, Eleanor Howard, 18, only discovered her talents as a singer, musician and songwriter two years ago, but has now made it through to the live showcases of Open Mic UK.
She said: “It was really good hearing that I had made it through – I didn’t expect it. It would be amazing to win but the whole experience has been really good.
“It’s great to have the opportunity to perform in front of people from the industry like BBC Introducing. I think it’s great to do competitions for your confidence.”
Miss Howard first picked up a guitar two years ago and has been having lessons since, but this is the first competition she has entered.
She said: “I sang Little Talk by Of Monsters and Men in my first audition. I like acoustic songs, anything folky really.
“Next weekend, I’m going to sing a song I wrote myself.”
Next Saturday, Eleanor is set to perform in front of around 500 people and an audience of music industry judging panel, which has previously included Radio 1 and Kiss FM DJs.
Winners of the regional final will go on to perform at London’s O2 Arena in the Grand Final with the potential to win a recording contract.
Miss Howard said: “I prefer playing to big audiences because you can’t see the individual faces. I’ve been rehearsing a lot and now I’m just really looking forward to it.”
Open Mic UK is the biggest competition in the UK for up-and-coming singers, rapper, vocalists and songwriters of all genres who perform either original material or covers.
Chris Grayston, head of Future Music, said: “Every year that we hold this competition, the bar is raised and the quality gets higher and higher. We’re really looking forward to experiencing the raw talent from across the country. For promising singers, songwriters, rappers and vocalists, Open Mic UK provides a real opportunity to open the door to a music career by showcasing their talent to music industry professionals and audiences across the country.”
The competition is behind the success of acts such as Birdy, Jahmene Douglas and Lucy Spraggan who is signed to Columnbia Records and due to release her debut album later this year.
Previous finalists also include Union J’s Jaymi Hensley and pop singer Hatty Keane.
Eleanor will be competing at the Open Mic UK 2013 Regional Finals in Milton Keynes on October 12.