Scarlett Quigley first bounded onto the classical crossover scene with the release of her debut album, “If I Only Had Wings.” With her lovely voice and youthful energy she quickly found a supportive audience for her growing talent. Getting to that point though has been the result of hard work on Scarlett’s part and also the assistance of dedicated mentors.
The first of these was previously featured as our cover star and is none other than Rebecca Newman. “I met Rebecca over social media. She discovered me and initially asked if I would be interested in being a part of a music video she was making. We communicated via Twitter, Facebook and emails were exchanged. I was thrilled when she asked me if I would guest at one of her shows.”
The relationship continued to blossom and Scarlett tells us they got along very well. Rebecca saw a special “sparkle” in Scarlett’s voice and offered to help mentor her. “Rebecca has helped me to develop my confidence when performing by bringing me some fabulous performance opportunities. She also created my debut album ‘If only I had wings’ and came to the studio with me to stand by my side.” It was also Rebecca who created a website for Scarlett and continued to offer advice. For Scarlett she is “such an inspiration and a massive help along my musical journey and I’m so grateful to her for her help.”
We discuss her album which Scarlett says was a “fun and interesting project to do.” As her first release Scarlett learned quickly what the recording experience is like. “As much as I enjoyed doing it, it taught me how tiring making an album is. We recorded the album in just two afternoon sessions at the studio so it was quite full on.” She readily acknowledges that there’s “a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes” but also that “it is worth it” as her fans would readily agree. After recording Scarlett first saw her album at the launch concert, “It was incredible to actually have in my hand.”
As her artistry continues to develop Scarlett hopes do something “challenging” and “brand new” when it comes time to her next record. “I love learning new things and I’d love to surprise everyone with something different to what I usually do.” It will be exciting to see how these desires materialize on her next release.
Scarlett studies voice with Robert Johnston, an international tenor. He is the choral manager of the BBC singers at the British Broadcasting Corporation. “I was introduced to him by the composer Chris Broom who thought he would be a good coach to take me forward. After a meeting and assessment with Rob I was delighted that he was keen to take me on.” Given the names in his roster of students Scarlett tells us she was “over the moon” that was interested in teaching her. “I have been seeing him for just over a year now. I think we work great together and he’s so much fun to be around. Yes, we do all the serious stuff but we have a giggle too!”
Scarlett has been described as a “natural performer” and she continues to charm new audiences and has also recently toured. It’s something she takes very seriously. “I prepare for my concerts by doing lots and lots of practice.” For Scarlett preparation includes breathing exercises, vocal warm-ups as well as carefully study of her repertoire. “I love being prepared for a concert as there is nothing worse than worrying last minute. You can never help being nervous but you definitely don’t want the added pressure of being unprepared. I love the performance itself but I have to say, my favorite part is at the end. Now this may sound strange, but when I know I’ve done it and all the audience are clapping it’s the best feeling in the world.”
Scarlett has performed with another of our feature artists, Alessandra Paonessa. Again their “Oceans Unite” concert was thanks greatly to the assistance of social media. “We organized the concert over the internet on Facebook and Skype. It was so lovely to meet Alessandra and we got on incredibly well and had so much in common.” It also made it special to finally “put a face to the name.” She describes the concert as an “incredible experience and it was wonderful to duet and share the stage with such a talented performer.” Fans will be happy to learn that the duo plans to reunite sometime in the future. “We hope to be performing together again soon so watch this space!”
Thanks to the variety in the crossover genre, each performer has their own specialty. “I like to challenge myself and am told I have a powerful voice so love to sing a good operatic aria. I am a very emotional singer and like to throw all my emotions into my performances. I try and make sure my live performances are captivating and tell a story. I equally like to sing a good classic song for example Moon River but with my own classical twist and deep soprano tone, as well as giving my own interpretation of the piece. I am very lucky to be sent original pieces by composers that haven’t been released before. For example I was the first artist to release Dolce Vento by Chris Broom on an album.” Since then the song has been recorded by several sopranos including Alessandra and the tenor, Jonathan Antoine – the singer who just so happens to be an inspiration for Scarlett herself. “I really admire Jonathan Antoine he is a little older than me but still young. I think we are similar in personality; in fact we actually have the same birthday! I can really see how he has grown as an artist and I hope I can follow in his footsteps. One day maybe I’ll even sing with him!”
Scarlett is currently taking a gap year from her studies. “This will allow me to focus on my performances and allow me to do more as college five days a week was quite restricting. I feel like I have more freedom now to do more things. That’s not to say I won’t be furthering my education at university in the future but right now I’m just taking some time out.”
When it comes to her music her family and friends are unfailing supportive. “They all say they are really proud of me and that means a lot. My Mum, Dad and Grandma especially Not that they are biased,” she says tongue-in-cheek. “I could not go without mentioning the amazing Quigletts.” The Quiglett’s are Scarlett’s band of supporters. “We got the name by combining the Lett from my first name and the Quig from my second name,” she tells us. “The support I receive from the Quigletts is incredible. It is this support that makes me strive to succeed. Without people supporting you, coming to your concerts, buying your music and just giving encouragement you cannot grow as an artist. I really mean it when I say the Quigletts mean the world to me.”