Essex music: 15-year-old heading for the top

A YOUNG singer has set herself high targets after gaining a coveted place in the final stages of a UK-wide singing contest.

Record deals worth �50,000 and gigs at London’s O2 Arena are all within reach for Izabella Speight as she continues through the rounds of Open Mic UK – a competition for singers and solo artists who want to hit the big time.

Izabella, 15, knows she is in for a long and tough fight to be crowned Britain’s best, but she is well prepared and looking forward to the challenge.

“My main hope is to bring a smile to people’s faces when they hear me sing,” she said. “And one day I hope my music will be available all over the world and I can perform in venues like Wembley Arena.”

The Year 11 Felsted School pupil performed a rousing rendition of ‘Somewhere over the rainbow’ for a group of judges including producers and pop stars.

She managed to win and will now go on to the regional heats on September 18 before the finals take place in November.

Izabella said her biggest fear is not getting through to the next stage: “I think the fear that always runs through my mind is that I’ll never make it.

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“I always question myself and doubt whether I’m good enough, and that this dream I have will never come true.

“That scares me because singing, dancing and acting are things that I love and live for. It is a big part of my life, and has a huge impact on me. Without it I wouldn’t be able to function.”

Currently studying drama the teen as her eyes firmly on being a professional performer. Having made two CD’s already she would love to secure a formal recording contract and try to win a wider audience.

Her journey started at the age of six when studying at school and since then Izabella has concentrated solely on her dream.

“The feeling I get when I sing is almost indescribable,” she said. “I get an explosion of butterflies in my stomach.

“I wasn’t very confident when I was younger, but moving to Felsted has really made me come out of my shell. It has encouraged me to be involved more with singing competitions and concerts.

“My mum has always supported me and encouraged me – hearing her sing around the house made me want to be just like her.”

Open Mic UK is for singers of any age across three categories, 18 and under, 18 to 25, 25 and over. Over 8000 people entered last time out.

For more details on Izabella visit