Far more exciting stuff yet to come from this fast-rising young talent
Seven million people have already tuned in online to watch a video of 20-year-old singer Gabrielle Aplin sitting at a grand piano performing her number-one cover version of the Frankie Goes To Hollywood song The Power of Love. But there's far more exciting stuff yet to come from this fast-rising young British talent.
As she heads out on a sell-out, headline tour of the UK – which includes a welcome return to Cornwall with a date at Falmouth's Princess Pavilion on March 27 – Gabrielle is getting just a little bit excited about the release of her debut album.
English Rain is being released on the Parlophone label in May on vinyl, CD and digital download.
The first single from the LP, Please Don't Say You Love Me, reached number six in the UK charts earlier this year – with another three million YouTube views. A follow-up single, Panic Cord, is imminent.
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It's a promising start for a girl who grew up in a "hippy household" in rural Wiltshire, with no dreams of stardom. She did, however, love listening to her parents' eclectic record collection.
"There was music around all the time when I was growing up. My parents are both big music fans," says Gabrielle, who started playing guitar at the age of 11.
"I was listening to Fleetwood Mac and The Carpenters. I'm a massive Nick Drake fan, and I love John Martyn too. For lyrics and vocals I love the 1960s folk revival."
She cites her contemporary influences include Elbow, The National, Coldplay, James Blake and the new folk scene.
But it was seeing a video of Sinead O'Connor performing the haunting Nothing Compares To You that prompted Gabrielle to try her hand at being a singer and songwriter.
At 14 she wrote her first song, which she says is "still out there somewhere".
"You have to keep writing and you can always get better at it. I learn about style and fall into a place where you keep writing," she says.
Quickly gaining confidence as a singer and player – and teaching herself piano – she began to develop a fanbase by posting footage of her performances on YouTube.
Her covers of original songs by artists like You Me At Six and Katy Perry soon attracted attention from music lovers and record labels, as well as BBC Introducing.
Gabrielle self-released three acclaimed EPs on her own Never Fade Records label, before signing to Parlophone.
"My parents are really chilled; they have encouraged me, but they aren't pushy," says Gabrielle. "I want to be a credible and commercial artist. I put a lot of effort into doing my own songs. But I never really set out to do anything – opportunities have just arisen. I hadn't set out to do anything else, so here I am."
The Falmouth show will be a welcome return to Cornwall for Gabrielle, who played on the main stage at the Relentless Boardmasters Festival back in the summer, but she is no stranger to the Westcountry.
"I've been coming down to Cornwall, around Holywell Bay, a few times a year for pretty much my whole life. I can drive now, and when I feel like it I just come down. I'd like to come down on a writing trip – I'm sure I would find inspiration," muses Gabrielle, who divides her time between London and Bath – when she's not on the road, of course.