Jasmine van den Bogaerde, though better known for her stage name Birdy, was born on May 15, 1996 in Lymington, England. Learning to play the piano at the age of seven from her mother, who was a concert pianist, she quickly caught the musical passion and began writing her own music at the age of eight.
In 2008, and at the age of 12, Birdy won the UK talent contest Open Mic UK. She won both the Under-18s category and the Grand Prize. It was her own song "So Be Free" that won her the competition. Afterwards, Birdy was then offered a publishing contract with Good Soldier Songs Ltd. In 2011, Birdy released a cover version of Bon Iver's "Skinny Love," which became her first hit on the UK Singles Chart when it peaked at 17 and was also chosen as Record of the Week by UK DJ Fearne Cotton. In March 2012, Birdy's song "Just A Game" which she wrote specifically for The Hunger Games, was chosen to be on the much anticipated film's soundtrack, along with fellow artists Taylor Swift, Maroon 5 and Arcade Fire.
I discovered this amazingly powerful and soulful young singer while watching Ellen Degeneres, who brought her on the show to perform for the audience. To say the least, I was blown away by the depth that she reaches with her songs. She touches raw emotions with her breathtakingly strong and haunting voice. Birdy, in my opinion, is definitely a singer/songwriter to watch out for - I know I will be.
Birdy's sound is so uniquely her own that it is hard to talk about influences, although critics have compared her to Kate Bush. Birdy has said that she enjoys listening to Lykke Li, Paolo Nutini and Adele, but that her biggest musical influence is her mum, Sophie. "I've listened to her playing the piano all my life. And I love that," says Birdy.
Birdy's self-titled debut album was originally released on November 7, 2011 in the UK through Warner Music Group, but was re-released for North America on March 20, 2012 and is available in both the US and Canada.
Check out Birdy's official website (www.officialbirdy.com), her Facebook page and her YouTube channel for more information, upcoming show dates and to listen to her music.
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