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Cottingley singer Lauren Myers teams up with Shipley songwriter Phil Webster
8:00am Monday 20th August 2012 in News
Could Bradford supermarket checkout girl Lauren Myers be the British singing sensation to conquer the States?
The 19-year-old looks set to be starting out on the road to fame – or more precisely to Nashville, Tennessee – after a friend’s dad discovered her powerful singing voice.
Until meeting Shipley songwriter Phil Webster, Lauren’s only previous claim to fame was singing in front of Prince Charles with her primary school choir at the opening of Cottingley ’s Cornerstone Project.
Now her voice, which has been likened to superstar Adele, is being heard across the Atlantic and has caught the ear of record producer Warren Ells, of Notefactory Studios, who has signed retired engineer Mr Webster up to writing a 12-track album to launch her in the States next year.
Lauren, of Cottingley, who works at Tesco in Canal Road, said: “I can’t believe it’s happening. One minute I’m sat at a till at Tesco the next I’m in a recording studio doing what I’ve dreamed off. It’s all a bit of a fairytale, a dream coming true.”
Becoming a recognised songwriter is also a dream come true for 52-year-old Mr Webster, who threw himself into songwriting after being made redundant and being diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease.
After 25 years of “doing it all wrong”, sending off tapes to music producers who threw them in the bin without listening to them, he went on a songwriting course run by Dec Cluskey, of The Batchelors, who became his mentor and good friend.
“He showed me there was a method to it. Through him I made contacts and from there on it’s been swift. The sky’s the limit and we’re going to get to the top,” said Mr Webster.
While he is also making a name for himself in Nashville, he is in regular contact with Pete Waterman who sends him links for his new material. And Gary Barlow has recorded a piano and vocals version of a song Mr Webster sent him.
“The version I sent him was written for drums and bass. He did it his way with piano and vocals and sent me his version back,” he said.
Mr Webster is also working with a music producer in Germany and has collaborations with Peter Falconer, who is a producer in London, and Marc Smith, formerly of Slade and a Kenny Rogers session musician.
He has received confirmation from Canadian and American records that he has been accepted as one of its writers. The worldwide recording label is run by Joey Geco who wrote hits for Bill Haley and The Comets in the 1950s.