North Hampshire singers reach area finals of national competition

Basingstoke Gazette: Emma Lawrence, 16, from Woolton Hill Emma Lawrence, 16, from Woolton Hill

SEVERAL local singers have made it through to the area finals of Open Mic UK after impressing competition judges.

The talented teens are now just one step away from performing at The O2 in London, where singers will fight to win a £5,000 cash prize to spend on the development of their act.

Emma Lawrence, 16, from Woolton Hill, who is one of the youngest contestants in the 16 to 21 category, performed her own song ‘One Way Road’ at the Open Mic UK Regional Showcase at Sub89, in Reading, in October.

The young singer/songwriter has this year performed at a number of local festivals including Basingstoke Live.

Duo Alisha Fowler, 16, from Oakley, and Mason Sawyer, 16, from Reading, also impressed judges at the showcase.

The friends, who both attend Queen Mary’s College, in Basingstoke, plan to perform a song written by Alisha at the next stage of the competition.

Alisha said: “We are nervous but also very excited. We’ve played in concerts at school before but we’ve never done anything like this before.

“It will be tough to get through to the final as there are a lot of acts which will be there, but it would be brilliant if we were able to.”

Olivia Pockett, from Hook, pictured, is also through to the area finals, which will be held on Saturday – the local one will take place in Fareham.

The talented singer, who attends Farnborough Hill School, in Farnborough, has been performing for many months, but never to such a large audience as Open Mic.

Her mum Rhiannon said: “I think she’s nervous, but it’s good nerves. You would never know when you are watching her that she’s nervous- I think it’s much worse for me.”

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