By Jennifer Lynn
Fresh from an evening watching contemporary ballet at the Edinburgh Festival, which she declared “incredible”, Tallia Storm is just like any other 13-year-old girl. Except for the fact with a quick Google search I can tell you exactly what she wore to said event (River Island outfit, armfuls of Swarovski bling and a very Paloma Faith hat by William Chambers Millinery, FYI), that she’s got a host of famous fans (Sir Elton John and fellow teen sensation Dionne Bromfield to name but two) and that her oversized hair bow at this year’s Teen Choice Awards after party has drawn comparisons to a certain Lady Gaga. Tallia Storm is no ordinary teenager.
Taken under the wing of Sir Elton John, after she approached his husband David Furnish on holiday with a demo last year, the young soul singer remains remarkably down-to-Earth about the whole experience, despite performing to 15,000-strong crowd on Elton’s only Scottish date earlier this year. “I was really surprised I wasn’t that nervous,” says Tallia. “At first I was sitting behind the stage thinking ‘oh my goodness’, but after I got past my first chat with the audience I was fine!”
Currently working on her first album, which is being penned by her music producer father, Sascha Hartmann, what sort of sound should we expect from Tallia? “A bit of soul, a bit of jazz and some R&B,” she says. “I’ve recorded 15 songs so far, but we’re aiming for around 20. Then the record label will pick the final package.”
It’s not just Tallia’s vocals which have been making column inches, but her quirky fashion sense and that amazing hair. “All credit has to go to my sister Tessie,” she says modestly. “She styles me. We’ll pick up a magazine and see a Chanel or a Dolce & Gabbana outfit, and we’ll try to copy it with something in Topshop or River Island. Fashion is everywhere, you just have to put your own take on it and be brave, and that’s what we do.”
Brave indeed. But how does a 13-year-old manage life as a style icon, singer and school pupil? “I come from a school that’s super competitive, where girls wake up at 5 o’clock in the morning to do two hours of swimming before school, then two hours of swimming after school,” she says. “This is my swimming, this is my hobby.”
It certainly seems like Tallia’s enjoying the ride, especially when talk turns to her newfound American friends. “The Teen Choice after party was just amazing,” she says of her performance at LA’s Globe Theatre in July. “I mean, Disney Channel was my LIFE when I was younger, and seeing all the people from those programmes, I was just like, ‘oh my goodness, there’s her and there’s her!’”
So what’s next for the girl whose vocal talents have seen her compared to Grammy-winning soul singer Jill Scott? “I’m going to Milan Fashion Week and I’ve got lots of other exciting things coming up, so fingers crossed,” she says. “I just need to let the world know I’m coming!”
You can listen to Tallia’s tracks at http://soundcloud.com/tallia-storm.