Line-up: 18-year-old Gabriella Cilmi.
Origin: Melbourne, Australia.
Vibe: 21st century poptastic future disco.
You might remember Gabriella Cilmi as the butter wouldn’t melt 17-year-old Australian singing sensation with a precociously powerful voice, whose debut album ‘Lessons To Be Learned’ rocked the charts back in 2008 and whose debut single ‘Sweet About Me’ became the most played song of 2009 in the UK. Her sexy rasp drew lazy comparisons to Amy Winehouse, Anastacia, Macy Gray and led to her being pigeonholed as the ‘latest jazz sensation’.
Gabriella has since moved away from her jazz roots and trampled all over her ‘nice girl’ image with her sophomore album, ‘Ten’; a collection of infectious 70s and 80s inspired belters with beats that will drop on dance-floors either side of the Atlantic and lead vocals made to melt radio airwaves.
Move over Kylie. Could Gabriella be the new gay icon in the making?
Influences: Giogrio Moroder, Blondie, Donna Summer, Gloria Gaynor.
Sounds like: Early Girls Aloud, Joan Jett, Van Halen, Lil’ Chris.
Background: Emerging from the suburbs of Melbourne, Gabriella was fronting a mostly–boy rock band at age 12; she was signed at 13 and at age 14 she was already being hailed as the ‘schoolgirl with the big voice. Gabriella Cilmi was catapulted to global fame by her worldwide mega hit, ‘Sweet About Me’ and after fading into one hit wonder oblivion she’s back and on a mission! Now 18- years-old, Gabriella is ready to sex things up and is set to surprise a lot of people with her bold, fresh musical direction and feisty attitude, not to mention her new image. “I’m not a little girl anymore. I’ve grown up, and I’m ready to fight to get what I want.” You can certainly say that again!
Gabriella’s teen beauty and powerful voice may have quickly marked her out at the beginning of her career, but there was always a depth and variety about her that hinted at richer, wilder things. With the driving, space age, dance floor anthem ‘On A Mission’ and the fresh direction of her forthcoming sophomore album ‘Ten’, Gabriella Cilmi really comes of age.
Listen: On A Mission’ will be released by Island on March 8th 2010, followed by ‘Ten’ on March 22nd 2010.