Finals thrill for Burnley’s Rebecca

Rebecca Gill. (s)
Rebecca Gill. (s)

SOME people are born to write. Some are born to play sports. Some are even born to travel into space.

Rebecca Gill was put on this Earth to perform and at 26 years old her star is shining brighter than ever.

The hugely gifted singer-songwriter has been lighting up stages since the age of three and it now looks as though the spotlight is set to fall on her nationally.

Rebecca, who was born and bred in Burnley and currently lives in North London, recently wowed the judging panel of the UK’s biggest original music competition Live and Unsigned sailing through to the regional final showcase.

She battled it out against hundreds of auditionees to secure a spot in the live shows and will now play in front of hundreds of spectators on March 11th, all in a bid to make it to the grand final at the 02 Arena.

“It’s a huge competition and something I’ve always considered doing. I’m at a stage now where I have a lot of original material and I’m a bit more established so I thought I’d give it a go.

“In the audition you only got two minutes to perform an original song and then you had to wait 30 minutes to find out if you’d made through. It was a bit nerve-racking but a good experience.”

Rebecca, whose last name is actually Atkinson (Gill is her stage name), moved to London in 2007 to undertake her Masters in music and theatre. A former pupil at St Hilda’s High School in Burnley, she was a member of BASICS theatre group from the age of three until 18 before going on to study performing arts at Bretton Hall, Leeds.

Despite a love of all disciplines encompassed by performing arts, it was an 18th birthday present that set her on her current course.

“I was given a guitar for my 18th birthday. I’ve always enjoyed singing and I wanted something to accompany my voice. I taught myself and when I went to university I started going to open mic nights. I initially learnt other people’s music but eventually when I got more confident I started writing my own material.”

Although her taste in music couldn’t be much more eclectic, ranging from classical to rock, Rebecca has found her own style of music more rooted in folk, citing her main influences as Don McLean and Eva Cassidy.

She recorded a demo (which can be downloaded from www.lastfm.com) last year and is now hoping to make her mark in and around London.

“Recording the demo was an amazing experience. It’s incredible how much better it sounds when it is recorded professionally.

“I enjoyed being in the studio recording the demo but playing live is what I love the most. Unfortunately the area I live in at the minute isn’t that great for live music. I’m not too far away from Camden though so I’m going to hopefully start making my way over there a bit more.”

For now though it’s the Live and Unsigned regional final taking precedence and given her unquestionable talent, you wouldn’t bet against Rebecca Gill performing live and signed come this time next year.

More on the competition can be found at www.LiveandUnsigned.UK.com and to follow Rebecca’s progress just search for “Rebecca Gill Live and Unsigned” to find her Facebook page.