Charley makes her Voice heard

    Charley Blue
    Picture: BBC/Wall to Wall/Guy Levy

    Fusing classical music, rap, and rock ‘n’roll has earned Speldhurst violinist Charlotte Andrew a coveted spot on BBC One’s music talent show, The Voice.

    Charley Blue, as she is known by her stage name, impressed the programme’s judges, including Boy George, Ricky Wilson from Kaiser Chiefs and Will.i.am, who were all bidding to become her mentor.

    Speaking to the Times, the 24 year old, who is also a vocalist for the Paul Dunton Orchestra in Tunbridge Wells, described the series as a hugely enjoyable opportunity.

    Charlotte, who is a former Tunbridge Wells Girls’ Grammar School pupil, recalled her audition appearance as a highly memorable night.

    She said: “It’s such a surreal experience, as you don’t realise that it’s going to be on TV, and you can’t really see the cameras there. So watching it back is really quite weird, but it was fantastic. I really wasn’t expecting any of the judges to turn round for me. But Will.i.am was the first who did and he’s the person I most wanted to work with as he has done things with so many different artists. When they turn round it means they would like you to be on their team for the show.

    “Although I’m just a girl from the country, I can rap and I’m into R&B and hip hop, as well as classical music. I really wanted to show that with my performance, as so often people are just put in a box.”

    As she revealed, music has always played a large role in her life, right from her early school days in Tunbridge Wells, through to studying at Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts.

    “Performing is one of those things that I’ve always loved. I gained my classical violin training at Tunbridge Wells Girls’ Grammar school, and I have also loved drama and done some singing competitions at school.

    “I started playing with the Paul Dunton Orchestra when I was a teenager, along with my sister, Becky, which has been a great thing. He has been very supportive and helped me gain a lot of gigs in Kent,” added Charlotte, who says her stage persona owes plenty to her distinctive blue electric violin, which won plenty of praise on The Voice.

    While she admitted there may be a lot still to learn about the industry, the violinist says getting the chance to kick-start her career has been a hugely-beneficial experience. She added: “It would be amazing to record with Will.i.am, and hope that there will be opportunities.”

    Grey Lady music promoter Paul Dunton caught Charlotte’s first appearance on the show back stage at the BBC and felt her performance was a great success.

    He said: “I’ve known Charlotte since she was about 13 and I am not surprised that she has got through, as she is a great violinist.

    “Performing as Charley Blue, she has a unique sound mixing rap with jazz, which works really well live. Her performances are full of energy and she is quite quirky as well, which will really help her stand out. It’s going to be really interesting to see how it turns out for her.”