Teen singer is a star in the making
8:00pm Sunday 2nd September 2012 in By Barrie Hudson
CHARLIE-Anne Bradfield is very down-to-earth, which is no mean feat in the circumstances.
Only a year into her teens, she’s been singing in public for years and is greeted with acclaim whenever she steps up to a microphone, yet there is nothing of the ‘stage kid’ about her.
Ask her where she hopes to be in 10 years’ time and there is no mention of world domination, stretch limousines and endless partying.
“I’d like my music to have got across to more people – a lot of people. I would hope I’d not just be doing a few gigs and that more people knew me.”
The first piece of music Charlie-Anne remembers hearing was Lighthouse Family’s Lifted, which was on an album given by her dad to her mum shortly after Charlie-Anne’s birth. She began singing during family parties.
“It was karaoke when I was really young,” she said. “I was about six. I just sang and people said, ‘You’re really good’. I did karaoke for quite few years and people just used to say that.”
Favourite karaoke tracks included songs by Rihanna and Katie Melua. The next stage in Charlie-Anne’s singing career came when she was nine, during a family holiday in Devon.
“We went to Dawlish with our friends,” she said. “I entered a competition there and won. The prize was a holiday and a place in the final. I came second.”
It was Charlie-Anne’s first experience of singing for strangers – and having them applaud.
“It was really weird,” she said. “When I got that applause from people who I didn’t know, and people told me I should try to do something with my voice, it was nice.”
Further victories followed, but Charlie-Anne realised she wanted to sing her own songs.
Last October she began lessons at The Guitar School in Old Town , owned by Howard Tucker.
“When I first started doing my lessons with Howard he said, ‘It would be really good if you could write your own songs. He gave me some chords and something to base it on, and I wrote a song I called Without You.”
Many more have followed. Charlie-Anne is a regular at the Thursday jam sessions at The Patriots Arms in Chiseldon . The first time she went there she was nervous, but that didn’t last long.
“All the men there are in their late 40s and 50s, and when I first went there I thought it was going to be a locals’ pub and that I’d be the odd one out because I was young.
“They had a massive double bass that came in, and there were ukuleles and mandolins. I felt really small but when I got up on stage and sang they gave me a massive clap when I’d finished and lots of constructive advice. It was really nice. I said I wanted to go back and I’ve been going there ever since.”
Charlie-Anne has played a roster of venues including 12 Bar, The Swiss Chalet, Riffs, the Goddards and The Kings. She played at this year’s Pride, the Banbury Beer Festival, the Big Arts Day, the Wharf Green Olympic opening day festivities, the Watchfield Festival and various other events, and has appeared on local and regional radio and TV.
Over the weekend she busked at Sainsbury’s in Stratton in aid of the supermarket’s chosen good cause, The Open Door Centre, which helps adults with learning difficulties and other issues.
She practises guitar and writes songs for hours at a stretch, and lists Oasis as her favourite band. She also likes The Beatles, Liam Gallagher’s Beady Eye and his brother’s band, High Flying Birds.
Charlie-Anne’s immediate future includes a selection of gigs, including an appearance at 12 Bar on Friday, when she’ll share a bill with fellow local talents Dead by Friday, The Fixed and Not George.
Check out her music and schedules at www.facebook.com/ CharlieAnneUK and www.soundcloud.com/Charlie-Anne