Rising Stevenage star Kelly cock-a-hoop after capturing Tim’s top title

Rising singer sonwriting star Kelly Oliver has won an unexpected award in Cambridge

Rising singer sonwriting star Kelly Oliver has won an unexpected award in Cambridge - Credit: Archant

Rising Stevenage folk star Kelly Oliver has cause for celebration after capturing a prestigious award.

She has confessed to being overwhelmed after being crowned best female artist in the annual NMG Awards.

The New Music Generator awards have been run for the last three years by Cambridge radio presenter and music promoter Tim Willett.

They aim to showcase unsigned artists and others making a name for themselves on the music scene, and the 2015 NMGs turned out to be the biggest turnout yet, with more than 4,000 votes cast for the audience award.

Winners of other awards were chosen by a panel which included Sheila Ravenscroft, the widow of legendary DJ and champion of new music John Peel.


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Artists living within a 50-mile radius of Cambridge were eligible as long as their work they had been played on Tim’s Cambridge 105 show in the past year.

The award was for all comers and didn’t specify a genre, with Kelly the only acoustic/folk act in the finals.

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Helen Meissner of the Folkstock Arts Foundation, which is helping to shape Kelly’s career, said: “It was a massive vote of confidence, not only for Kelly herself, but for the new found acceptance of this ‘authentic’ genre, which is gaining mainstream recognition.

“To gain the top award for a female artist was wonderful recognition.”

Kelly has also been given further airplay on the Bob Harris Radio 2 show – the former Old Grey Whistle Test frontman enthused about her ‘sincere and lovely’ sound and praised her ‘beautiful, pure voice’ – which is further affirmation as she plans the follow-up album to her award-winning debut This Land, planned for release in March next year.

She will be performing live in London next week on a Rising Stars of Folk bill at the Electric Carousel – you can find out more about dates in her diary at kellyoliver.co.uk.

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