Robyn knows best what it takes to get to a final

Widdrington teenager Robyn Anderson, who has reached the North Area final of the Live and Unsigned competition. Photos taken by Andrew Benge

Widdrington teenager Robyn Anderson, who has reached the North Area final of the Live and Unsigned competition. Photos taken by Andrew Benge

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A WIDDRINGTON teenager is one step away from showcasing her singing talent on a national stage.

Robyn Anderson has reached the North Area final of the Live and Unsigned contest after impressing the judges in Manchester with her three-and-a-half-minute performance.

If she is successful at the Mill Volvo Tyne Theatre, in Newcastle, on Sunday, the King Edward VI School Year 12 student, who only felt confident enough to sing in public three years ago, will take part in the main event of the competition at the O2 arena in London.

She came through the first round in February, but could not make the second round audition in Newcastle because she was at her aunt and uncle’s wedding in New Zealand.

Fortunately, the Live and Unsigned organisers allowed her to go to the North West event two weeks later and she was on top form with her mash-up of Mamma Knows Best, by Jessie J and If I Die Young, by The Band Perry, an American country music group, in front of hundreds of people.

Robyn said: “After a sound check in the morning, we waited backstage until we were called out. I was second last on and got more and more nervous throughout the afternoon.

“I chose to start with a slower song and then switched to a more powerful tune to show the full range of my voice.

“I was pleased with my performance and then I faced an anxious wait as the judges, including former Stone Roses guitarist Aziz Ibrahim, took a little while to decide who was going through to the North Area final. I was so shocked when my name was mentioned and now I can’t wait for the next stage.

“It would be absolutely amazing to reach the UK final and sing in such a big arena.

“Family and friends were fantastic and 15 of them came down to watch me. Some of them had to get the Megabus at 5am or a train at 6am, but they didn’t complain.”

If the 16-year-old impresses in the latter stages of the contest she could be asked to perform at music festivals across the UK and abroad, receive free studio time and be included on a CD that will be sent to key music industry figures.

The overall winner will get £10,000 to develop their magazines and support from a music management company.

Robyn overcame her nerves in high school and has taken part in school productions such as Grease.

“I’ve always liked to sing, but when I was younger I was a bit scared of performing in front of a lot of people,” she said.

“But when I went to KEVI in Year 9, I had the opportunity to sing in front of my class and I got a great reaction which gave me a lot of confidence. People who knew me were surprised that I had kept my singing voice hidden for so long.

“I then began to take part in school musicals and perform at family events and now I’m definitely going to see where it takes me once I leave school.

“I like pop acts such as Rihanna and Jessie J, but also bands such as Journey, U2 and AC/DC so I’m happy to perform different types of music.”