Following her record-breaking 2.3 million pound signing to Universal Classics and Jazz, gifted mezzo-soprano Faryl Smith is set to release her highly anticipated debut album ‘Faryl’ on March 9th 2009. 2008 saw 13-year-old Faryl catapulted into the limelight following her appearance on Britain’s favourite TV talent show in May. By the end of the year she had been awarded the most valuable contract ever presented to such a young artist.
Hailing from Kettering, Northamptonshire, the talented schoolgirl has since been busy recording her debut album (in between school work) and recently wowed the audience with her maturity and sheer talent as she gave a taster of the album an intimate media showcase. Produced and arranged by Jon Cohen, ‘Faryl’ consists of an eclectic mix of 12 stunning tracks ranging from such signature classics as Amazing Grace to the lesser known Welsh hymn Calon Lan , taught lovingly to Faryl over the phone by her Grandfather.
The album features Faryl’s signature song Ave Maria – her choice of talent show audition song which has now become synonymous with the youngster, gaining standing ovations whenever she performs it. River of Light has been written by Ivor Novello winning writer Frank Musker and is based on The Blue Danube by John Strauss – one of the most popular tunes of all time. The melody is loved around the world but no one has ever heard it like this before. No doubt one of the album’s hidden gems is The Way Old Friends Do written by Abba’s Bjon Ulvaeus and taken from their 1980 classic Super Trouper album. Bjorn personally changed the lyrics to suit the young star.
“… ordinarily Abba are very strict and never sanction lyric changes, but with Faryl, Bjorn offered to change the words personally” (Tom Lewis – UCJ)
Adding a new dimension to the album is Annie’s Song – Faryl’s rendition of US country star John Denver’s number 1 track from 1974. The haunting ballad highlights Faryl’s varied vocal range and further showcases the young singers’ diversity. Faryl sings with precision, emotion and power throughout each of the album’s 12 tracks. A testament to her ability, ‘Faryl’ proves that the young girl from Kettering has a glittering career ahead of her. “Every singer dreams of recording their own album, but to have this chance at my age was amazing” said Faryl. The recording was a challenge – I had to fit it around my school work and so ended up recording right through my Christmas holidays, but I loved every minute of it!”
Following their performance together as the Royal Albert Hall in December, Faryl’s idol Katherine Jenkins commented: “I first met Faryl when she won a competition in Wales- I knew then she would be a star. When I saw her on Britain’s Got Talent this year, I knew she had become even better. She’s ‘one in a million’, a great girl with an incredible voice. Universal Classics and Jazz head, Dickon Stainer: “Faryl is a once-in-a-generation talent and is set to be massive. It’s hard to believe that someone so young could have such a remarkable voice and make such an impression on those who hear her.”
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