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Little Birdy: singing sensation
SHE is the Hampshire teenage singing sensation whose stunning vocals have captivated people across the world.
Now Birdy – aka 17-year-old Jasmine Van den Bogaerde from Lymington – has released her second album.
Birdy, who lives on her extended family’s country estate, says: “Being at home for me is the most inspirational, but it’s being in the area in general. It’s just so beautiful to be in with everything to see, it’s definitely influenced my sound and my style.”
Birdy’s first self-titled album was a collection of piano-based covers.
Released to critical and commercial success in 2011, it has sold almost 1.3 million copies worldwide. The lead single, her take on Bon Iver’s Skinny Love gave her a Top 20 hit aged 14.
Entitled Fire Within, the second album features tracks Birdy has written herself.
Birdy, who is the daughter of a concert pianist and great-niece of actor Dirk Bogarde, says: “The album is all my own songs, so it’s very exciting. For me, it’s more personal and emotive and is an eclectic mix of styles.
“But I’m kind of nervous. I feel like I’m starting again a little bit, but writing my own songs is what I’ve wanted to do for such a long time, so I’m really happy. I just hope people like my own material.”
Birdy, whose most poignant track on the album is All About You because it’s her first with a guitar, recalls writing her first song aged just eight in the New Forest.
She laughs: “The first songs I wrote were about love so they didn’t make much sense and were a bit all over the place. I used to sit at my mum’s grand piano and when I was meant to be practising, I’d branch off into other things.”
Now, a decade on, Birdy lives and breathes music.
The teenager studied for GCSEs at Priestlands School, but said she has been forced to abandon her A-Levels at Brockenhurst College due to her busy schedule.
Since being discovered after winning talent show Open Mic UK in 2008, aged just 12, her career has exploded.
She has collaborated with Mumford & Sons on the soundtrack to Pixar’s Brave and wrote the closing credits song for the blockbuster film Hunger Games.
In the last year, her most memorable highlights include performing at the London 2012 Paralympics Opening Ceremony as well as at Sydney Opera House.
But the down-to-earth teenager, who cites KT Tunstall, Paolo Nutini, Passenger and Jake Bugg among her favourite musicians, says she will take inspiration from Adele’s powerful presence on stage for her upcoming tour as her new music means she will no longer be sitting behind a piano.
Despite being busy with touring commitments and already writing for her next album, Birdy still makes time for her life in Hampshire.
She says: “I keep in touch with my friends, and when I’m back we always hang out.
They’re very supportive. I also spend a lot of time with my family and I love art and painting. I did that at college so still want to keep that up.
“I guess I just like doing all the normal teenage things.”
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