If you asked most teenagers about their musical influences, you wouldn't necessarily expect musical theatre as the answer. However, this is exactly the influences and inspiration cited by young singer Beth Ford who has just launched her own website ahead of her debut single release later this year.
Beth's favourite musical is Les Mis which is how she first came to hear the vocal ability of her main inspiration, Alfie Boe. Upon seeing the DVD of Les Mis 25, Beth was overwhelmed with the music and Boe himself, so much so that her parents got her VIP tickets for Boe's Bring Him Home tour. The concert date was January 2011 and Beth soon found that the VIP element involved a meet and greet with Boe before the performance. Also at that meet and greet was another young singer, Flo Bannigan and Alfie invited the pair to sing Impossible Dream with him at that afternoon's soundcheck. To say they were excited was an understatement but the result was beyond their wildest dreams. The video below shows Alfie and conductor James Morgan exchanging glances of appreciation at Beth's voice and Alfie was so impressed that he invited the girls to sing in the concert with him.
Beth cites this as the moment that gave her the confidence to further explore and develop her voice; as she says
"if Alfie hadn't have done that, I would never have had the confidence to keep going".
As inspiring as this was, that wasn't the last of Alfie's generosity. Beth and family had tickets for Alfie's concert at Llangollen and when his management got wind of this, they were all invited backstage during the interval. Beth still has the unopened Mars Bar Alfie gave her!
As exciting as this was, before this, of course, lay years of singing at local events. Beth started singing in public with her local church choir, Jigsaw at age 5 and she also had her first solo at this young age! From then, she has been singing with the Voice in a Million Choir and the Walsall Youth Choir amongst others. In addition, Beth regularly performs at an Open Mic night in her home town of Bloxwich and always gets lovely comments about her pure, natural voice. This quite often leads to further performances; most of her appearance invitations can be traced back to those open mic nights.
In this day of reality TV and the seemingly never ending ways of making it to the big time quickly, many people will want to know why Beth hasn't tried and has no interest in, Britain's Got Talent or similar. Quite simply, Beth prefers to hone her talent in a natural progression - she knows she can sing so being told that she can sing in such a public way does not hold any attraction for her. She wants to make it on her own merits and not just because she appeared on a TV talent contest. This isn't the confidence of youth talking either as this quote from Rebecca Newman, The People's Soprano shows:
'Beth's interpretation of these songs is very relaxing and sung with an elegant simplicity - without pretence or ego - which is so refreshing!'
Now, Beth is starting to take her first steps into the world of recording and releasing which she first got into through her singing teacher Gary Hill who worked at Birmingham Music Academy which has its own recording studio, Progress Studio. The result was the unreleased I'm Always Chasing Rainbows and Beth is giving you the chance to download and hear her naturally gifted voice - for free! Click here for Beth's website and download I'm Always Chasing Rainbows now.
This article first appeared on www.thoughtsofjustafan.com.