Kellimarie EP Launch
Fourteen year old Coventry girl Kellimarie Willis releases her debut EP on 31st March. She held a launch party at the Rialto Reborn in Coventry on Friday 24th. This fabulous venue which has been refurbished was full of fans, family and friends and what a night it turned out to be. Even for those in the room who thought they knew her well, it was surprising evening. Kellimarie, who is currently starring in the CBBC talent development show, "Got what it takes?," strode on to the stage full of confidence. She learned to sing whilst travelling to her mum's gigs as she rehearsed in the car. So it was that in her thanks for the help she has received over her lifetime, Mum, Debbie Nash was top of the list. She was called up on to the stage and together, they sang that daunting prospect, "I Dreamed a Dream" from Les Miserables., it was magical and brilliant. Obviously Kellimarie comes from a talented family as "Auntie Annie" clearly a performer too, was next and they sang a fun number "Gambling Man". To complete the family trio of guests, her elder brother Michael joined her. Michael has a fine voice, but has apparently lacked the confidence in the past to make more of it. He should, because as one female member of the audience observed, "he has a voice to die for". Finally a man who has possibly had more influence on Kellimarie's success than most, her guitar teacher Neil Wardleworth joined her. They sang and played together a song from the TV show "Nashville" (series five is shortly to start on Sky Living). I spoke to Neil afterwards and commended him on helping Kellimarie to learn to play so well. His reply was, "On the contrary, it was Kellimarie who put in the hard work." As one who has heard Kellimarie sing many times it was refreshing and somewhat surprising to hear how she masters music of different genres so well. Right at the end Kellimarie announced that she would be appearing in the main stage at the Godiva Festival to be held in the city in the summer. Anyone who fancies learning guitar can contact Neil Wardleworth at www.harriet-music.com.
That was all a preamble to the main event as she was joined on stage by the band who played on the recording of the four song EP. All four were written by Kellimarie herself. The disc is available for download from this link. https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/under-the-same-stars-ep/id1209848965?app=itunes.
Hard copies are also available. If you pre-order, before 31st March, the sales accrue to augment the chart position on release. Which ever way you hear her music, listen to the lyrics, the maturity of them from one so young is staggering. With the band now set up they launched into the songs, "Better On My Own" was quickly followed by "You're Not Mine." Then came one the Kellimarie wrote about the other contestants on the TV show with her. It was noted that one of them Luka, was there to give moral support as she sang "Under The Same Stars" in which she indicates that she has made friendships during the show that will last for a lifetime. The fourth and final song from the EP is "You Without Me" the quality of her writing is matched only by her performances. She put down her guitar and continued with the band for Demi Lovato's "Stone Cold" which is the opposite of the feeling in the room. The final note of her last song soared round the large room and brought an end to a fabulous performance.
In support of Kellimarie were three fellow members of Big Help Academy. One of whom has appeared on national TV and is soon to do so again in another talent series, a second who only three weeks ago was at number sixteen in the I-tunes Pop charts, and a third who's career is at embryonic stage although a proficient and entertaining singer in her own right. Emily Burnie opened her set with an throbbing up beat rendition of the Louisa Johnson hit "So Good" it was good starting number for the show. A moodier hip hop song "It's Over Now" was her second offering from possibly the biggest stage on which any of these girls have performed previously. "Radioactive," "Worrier" and the Ariana Grande hit "Something About You" showed off her talent before a nod to the older generation in the room with the Jackson Five number "I Want You Back" completing the set. Emily was a good opener enlivening the already wired crowd in anticipation of a great show.
Next up was the fabulous Tazmin Barnes, who shares with Kellimarie a talent for song writing. That said, she included in her set, a song I suspect Debbie Nash will have sung a few times in her Shirley Bassey tribute act, "Diamonds Are For Ever". It is good to hear younger singers embracing the older songs, particularly one like that, being such a powerful song and needing a strong and yet melodic voice to master it. Tazmin Barnes has just such a voice - in spades. The main feature of Tazmin's set were songs from her recently released EP "Trapped" which went to number sixteen in the difficult to compete in I-tunes Pop Chart. Her spirited performances combined with confident and observant stage presence, even linking the backdrop to one of Kellimarie's songs was a delight to behold. All three of the support artists spoke of the artistry and talent of the star of the bill, this being true of Brooke Layla. Brooke herself is a star of TV even if it was under the banner of "Unexpected Star" on Michael McIntyre's Big Show last autumn. She is also to appear on national TV again in a month or two in a series of a well known talent show. More cannot be said yet as it is under embargo from the TV company. She started her act with a Motown classic, "Be My Baby" from the Ronnettes, then brought us right up to date with "Human" from Rag 'n Bone Man. "True Colours" and a Bruno Mars offering, "When I Was Your Man" before ending her set with another classic, "You're My World." Brooke has gone on to perform all over the country since her first appearance on TV with more to follow.
Kellimarie was undoubtedly the star of the show and to have support from such a talented group of individuals (look for each of them on Facebook) as were there that night was the cream topping. The venue was just right for the event and is home to a number of other events throughout the year as can be seen here. http://www.rialtoreborn.co.uk/upcoming-events/