Our homegrown star’s rise to the top
From YouTube star to fully-fledged recording artist, via two albums and a very special Christmas single, Gabrielle Aplin has come a long way from recording music videos in her bathroom.
This local girl and former Bath College student has just released her second album, Light Up The Dark, to critical acclaim and is in the midst of a national tour.
Gabrielle’s musical talent goes back to age 11, when she was bought her first guitar, but it was during her time at Bath College that her career began to really take off. So, how did she go from studying music to performing with the likes of Ed Sheeran and Gotye?
Bath College and beyond
Gabrielle enrolled on a music course at Bath College and wasted no time in getting involved with our in-house record label, BA1 Records.
“When I went to Bath College I studied the music business. I like being able to understand that side of things,” she told Digital Spy.
It was during her time at Bath College that she started uploading videos to her YouTube channel, gathering legions of fans in the process.
By 2010 she’d amassed millions of hits online, earning her an invitation onto BBC Wiltshire ahead of the release of her first EP.
Her big break(s)
Gabrielle’s appearance on BBC Wiltshire was heard by Radio One, who invited her to perform at the famous Maida Vale studios as part of BBC Introducing.
“It was absolutely amazing. It’s such an old studio as well, it was like stepping into a time capsule. I recorded three of my own songs and a cover of Fix You by Coldplay,” she told the BBC.
The sessions gave Gabrielle yet more exposure and shortly after the release of her third EP, Home, she revealed that she’d been signed with Parlophone.
But the big breaks weren’t done there. In 2012 her cover Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s The Power of Love was chosen as the track for the John Lewis Christmas advert. It was a huge moment and gave Gabrielle her first UK number one, not to mention helping her subsequent album to number two in the charts.
“I’ve always loved the John Lewis ads, and I was so excited when I was chosen to sing the song. But then it started to dawn on me what I’d taken on,” she told the Daily Mail.
“I was worried people might hate me because they were so attached to the original single. But I’ve since been in touch with Holly Johnson, and he said some lovely things about my take on his song. He likes it, and that’s enough for me.”
New album and looking forward
Gabrielle enjoyed critical acclaim and commercial success with her first album, English Rain, and is hoping for the same again with her new album, Light Up The Dark.
Featuring a bigger, bolder sound than her first album, Light Up The Dark shows just how far Gabrielle’s come since those days recording videos at home. But while her sound may have changed and matured, her success hasn’t changed who she is.
She told the Independent recently: “Labels fund things and have resources for you to use. But just because you sign doesn’t mean you sign yourself away so they can then tell you what to do. You need to have a plan yourself, before they do.”