TWO Basingstoke singers are just one step away from performing at the O2 after reaching the area final of a national singing competition.

Ryan Upton and Riley Kudirka, better known as Riley K, have both made it through to the area finals of the Open Mic UK music competition.

The duo will now perform at the area final on December 1, where if they advance, they will showcase their talents at the premier UK venue where they will sing in front of a live audience and a music industry judging panel.

Open Mic UK 2019 is the biggest search for unsigned talent in the UK, where contestants may perform a cover of a song or their own original material.

For 19-year-old Riley K he said he felt ‘nervous’ ahead of his performance at the latest heat which took place at the Engine Rooms in Southampton.

The Overton teenager played the song ‘A Brighter Light’ an original song from his newest EP "Something New", but said now that he is through to the area final “the game’s stepped up.”

Joining Riley will be South Ham singer Ryan Upton, who is celebrating double success after recently securing a spot in the British finals of the Tour Music Fest competition.

The 23-year-old said: “I have a few weddings lined up for the final, so it is now just getting as familiar with the song I am going to perform as possible.”

Acts who, have competed in the competitions on their way to being signed to major record labels include; Lucy Spraggan, Luke Friend, Karen Hardy, Jacob Banks,

Events co-ordinator Chris Grayston said; “Every year that we hold this competition the bar is raised, and the quality gets higher and higher.

“For promising singers, song-writers, rappers and vocalists, Open Mic UK provides a real opportunity to open the door to a music career by showcasing their talent to music industry professionals and audiences across the country, and, for many, this opportunity is just that, because this competition could be the beginning of a life-time career, edging into our future piece by piece.”