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Southampton pop star Foxes is big in the USA - and the same is set to happen here in Britain
SOMETIMES your first career choice isn’t the best one.
Louisa Rose Allen had intended to train to become a beauty therapist after leaving Cantel School in Southampton.
But luckily for her she decided to follow her passion for music and, under her stage name of Foxes, has been a huge hit in the US and is set to follow that success up in the UK.
Louisa has had the number one radio spot in the US with her forthcoming single, Youth, while the video for the song has had more than a million views, as previously reported in the Daily Echo.
The track, along with another of her songs, Home, has been heard on hit TV series Gossip Girl and a new Debenhams advert and she has been nominated for an MTV award.
Holly had moved to London after finishing at school and encouraged Louisa to follow her.
“I’d actually enrolled on a beauty course in Southampton but my sister said ‘don’t be silly – come up to London, stay on my couch and do music. That’s what you really want to do.’”
Louisa had always loved performing.
“I used to do shows, 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 says.
As a teenager she loved rap music and used to write Eminem lyrics in her diary, but it wasn’t long before she progressed to writing her own songs.
But, despite enjoying putting on performances for her family, Louisa says that at school she was quite shy and kept herself to herself.
She adds that she was bullied at school but says that in the long term she thinks this has been good for her.
“If I hadn’t been through that, I wouldn’t be where I am today,” says the 24-year-old.
“It taught me a lot and it makes you stronger. It’s nice to prove to people who don’t think you are going to do well that if you work hard, you can,” she adds.
But Louisa does have lots of fond memories of growing up in Southampton and, although her brother and mother have also now moved to London, she comes back to the city to see her grandmother, who still lives in St Denys, a few doors down from where Louisa and her family lived.
As a former Cantel student, she is in good company in the music industry.
Coldplay drummer Will Champion is another ex-pupil, as are 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.
But the Southampton musical sensation she was always the biggest fan of Craig David.
“I really liked Craig David,” she says.
“I remember when he really blew up, everyone was like ‘I grew up with him’. I think my brother used to know him,” she says, before adding: “But I might have made that up. I told people that anyway!”
And Louisa is proud to have spotted the Seven Days singer in Portswood once – near the greengrocers, Ganaways, where she used to work.
“I was a big fan, I loved him. I’d love to meet him,” she adds.
Craig David would probably be quite interested in meeting Louisa, to pick up some tips on how to break the American market.
“In America it’s a different story to over here,” she says of her success in the States.
“It’s quite overwhelming. I had the song with Zedd (Clarity), which has done really well (it reached number 2 on the Billboard pop chart).
“That track really blew up over there. It’s crazy because I go over there and see that reaction but when I come back here it’s much more chilled out.
“I’m much bigger in American that I am here, which is a weird way of doing it but having that recognition in America so early is great.”
But given her growing popularity in the UK, it probably won’t be long before things are just as ‘hectic’ for her here.
With Youth released on October 20 and a tour to follow, it’s an exciting time for the singer, who dropped out of music college and began to focus on performing at open mic nights.
“To be able to put my first single out is really nice because I’ve been kind of in waiting for about a year,” she says.
“It has been a really lovely year, but to be doing my own stuff now is really exciting.”
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