SHE finished college with flying colours – but rather than packing her bags ready for university, Ella Barber is off to follow her dreams of chart success.
The 18-year-old from Woodlands Road, Woodlands, is off to join girl band Anything But Monday and travel America on a promotional tour.
Ella was spotted by former Sony Records CEO Stephen Stone when he heard her on a music demo. He has previously worked with Destiny’s Child – the band that propelled Beyonce to fame – and J-Lo and has been working with Anything But Monday since they were spotted singing in a shopping mall in Miami a few years ago.
Anything But Monday already have three platinum selling dance singles which are being played in clubs across the world and their own beer company, Mirosa.
The band are testing a new model of promotion by giving their tracks, 99 Bottles of Beer, Bump and Everytime Everywhere, to DJs to remix and play in clubs to build popularity.
When they are in America, their promotional work will include live performances, interviews with the American media and networking with industry bosses.
Ella has plenty of singing experience. While she was studying at Totton College she performed session vocals for a number of Southampton’s songwriters.
And this summer she became the first woman at the college to achieve the top grade, a triple distinction in music as well as a distinction in grade eight singing.
Now Ella is off to join the rest of the group, Samanda, Chioma and Jodie, as they try to break into the music industry in America.
But she will have to balance her music career with her education as she is also off to study artist development and songwriting at the Academy of Contemporary Music in Guildford.
If the girls successfully break into America she will be travelling in and out of the country throughout the course.
Ella said: “Hopefully if it does kick off they want to send me to America full time. I think my friends are a bit apprehensive for me. They’re scared that as soon as I go over there I won’t be coming back. I think my mum is more worried than anyone.”