A FORMER Southampton schoolgirl is taking the music world by storm after her voice proved a hit across the Atlantic.
Louisa Rose Allen, otherwise known as Foxes, took the number one radio track in the US last week.
The singer, who has had her songs Youth and Home featured on TV series Gossip Girl and the new Debenhams advert and was nominated for an MTV award has had more than a million hits on her latest pop video.
Louisa, who grew up in Swaythling and St Denys with her mother, brother and sister and went to St Denys Primary School, Cantell School and Eastleigh College, is already big news in America and is poised to become a household name in the UK. Her latest single, Youth, will be released next month and has been selling well on pre-order and she is embarking on a UK tour, with venues including the O2 Academy in Birmingham.
She has come a long way since reaching the final of a talent competition in Eastleigh – the Concorde Factor – which she didn’t even win.
Louisa, now 24, reached the final of the 2009 competition held at the Concorde Club, but lost out on the top spot.
She describes her home environment in Southampton as ‘carefree’ and says her mother and sister helped shape her music taste.
“The house I grew up in was great and my mum and sister both have great taste in music,” she said.
“Kate Bush was always playing and Patti Smith and really great jazz music.”
She was also a fan of Southampton star Craig David and told the Echo she would love to meet him.
“I really liked him. I remember when everything blew up with him and everyone was saying they knew him,” she said.
“I think my brother actually did know him – at least that’s what I told people!” she laughed.
Louisa had a Saturday job at Ganaways greengrocers in Portswood and says she once thought she saw Craig David near the shop, but admits it might have been wishful thinking.
Before she took part in the Concorde Factor she was putting on concerts for her family.
“I used to do show, make tickets and make my family watch me perform. I was making music at 14 – really, really bad music.
“I was always the annoying child at family gatherings who insisted everyone listen to me sing Celine Dion’s My Heart Will Go On,” she said.
Louisa considered training to be a beauty therapist in Southampton but moved to London at 18, following her sister and brother, and went to music college. She started gigging in London as Foxes in late 2011.
She didn’t want to use her own name to perform under as there were too many other artists with similar names, such as Lily Allen.
She took her alternative name from the title of the first song she wrote, Like Foxes Do.
Although Louisa now lives in London, she visits Southampton to see her grandmother, who still lives in St Denys and says it will always have a special place in her heart.
“I love Southampton,” she said, “It’s my hometown.” Louisa Rose Allen, aka Foxes, is the latest in a number former Cantell pupils to make it big in the music industry.
The list of alumni from the school in Swaythling, Southampton, includes Will Champion from Grammy- and Brit Award winning band Coldplay, Russell Marsden and Matt Hayward, two thirds of Band of Skulls, who featured on the Twilight soundtrack, Joe Newman from Mercury award winners Alt-J and Jack Wylie and Milo Fitzpatrick form the award-winning Portico Quartet.