Signs are good for girls

A SOULFUL singer and a talented teenager will be coming face to face with talent scouts this month in what could be a career-defining competition. Micaelia Baptiste, 26, of Whitehorse Street, Baldock, has gone through to the regional semi-finals of a nati

A SOULFUL singer and a talented teenager will be coming face to face with talent scouts this month in what could be a career-defining competition.

Micaelia Baptiste, 26, of Whitehorse Street, Baldock, has gone through to the regional semi-finals of a national music competition - Live and Unsigned - next Sunday, March 16.

The competition which will be held at Fairfield Hall in Croydon, aims to find potential recording artists and is the biggest music talent search outside ITV1's The X Factor.

Categories include best individual female and male and Best Live and Unsigned band with the overall winner getting a recording and management contract worth £20,000 with Future Music.

Unsigned bands and singers who take part are encouraged to be individual and Micaelia is no exception.

Micaelia said: "I bring unusual instruments together to create a different sound. For example I combine a slow song with a cello and electric guitar.

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"My voice is very soulful - it has an Aretha Franklin sound."

The former West End performer who has been singing since the age of three and was in the original cast of Ragtime and has starred in Whistle Down The Wind entered the competition to get some 'credibility' for her music.

"I wanted to get some good feedback from someone who knows what they're talking about," she said.

"It's a great competition for unsigned artists who want to get their music heard but I never expected to get this far. I'm really excited because it's the first time someone's said my music isn't half bad."

For more information or to see Micaelia at the semi finals visit www.micaeliabaptiste.com or www.myspace.com/micaeliasmusic

Roxy Searle, 13, of Stevenage Road, Walkern, has also reached the regional semi-finals in the junior competition and is preparing to sing a song by the musician Pink.

If the Nobel School pupil wins the national final, she has the chance to record a track written by Lemar and Mark Hill (Craig David's producer).

Roxy who has been singing since the age of two was accepted into the renowned Sylvia Young's theatrical agency, Young Un's at the age of nine. Since then she has performed in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at the London Palladium and Mary Poppins at the Prince Edward Theatre, in London.

Chris Grayston, events director of Live and Unsigned said: ''This cannot be compared to any other talent searches as the acts talent is the show. We are interested in discovering and exposing talent at its best; live! It is as simple as we say get live, get signed.''

l For more information go to the website www.LiveandUnsigned.UK.com

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