Arts

C'mon Billie: Why YouTuber Billie Marten is 'one to watch'

Andy Welch recommends his 'one to watch'. This week, find out why you should be listening to YouTuber Billie Marten, who will soon be releasing her debut album Writing of Blues and Yellows

Billie Marten is making the transition from YouTube sensation to bona fide recording artiste

WHO: Billie Marten

WHAT: Singer-songwriter from Ripon in North Yorkshire

WHY: YouTube star turned real-life star

HOW: Born Isabella Sophie Tweddle, Billie Marten, as she's much better known, started singing when she was nine.

By the time she was 12, she was a bona-fide internet star.

Her mum had recorded a video of her singing and posted it on YouTube so her grandparents living in France could see it. They saw it, as did a few hundred thousand other people, and it's been non-stop since then.

She was quickly approached by two TV talent shows and asked to audition – she turned them down – and released her first EP when she was 14.

By the grand old age of 16, not long after she'd done her GCSEs, she was nominated for the BBC's Sound of 2016 poll, and has continued to release more singles.

One of the first songs she covered for her grandparents was Lucy Rose's Middle Of The Bed, and her own style is not a million miles away from the folk rocker.

There's a breeziness to her vocal, and a lightness to the arrangements. Just when you think the whole thing is veering wildly into 'John Lewis advert' territory, there's a hook or melody to demonstrate there's more at play here than forgettable whimsy.

A real talent in development, Marten has recorded her debut album, Writing Of Blues And Yellows, due to be released in September.

Her current single, Lionhearted, is out now, following on from previous releases Milk & Honey and La Lune.

WHERE: Head to Soundcloud, specifically Soundcloud.com/billie-marten, where you can hear full songs as well as snippets of the new songs that are going to be on her debut album.

There's also iTunes, where you can download a load of singles and pre-order the debut album, Spotify has the same EPs and singles for streaming – and, of course, you can head to YouTube andVevo where it all began for Marten, and watch endless videos and live performances to get a real sense of how she's progressed since those early days.

For news of live performances, go to Billiemarten.com. Her next live performance is at Bestival in September, followed by a full tour in October to support Writing Of Blues And Yellows.

Get booking.

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