Contributor: Sifiso Dhladhla
Growing up, the idea of a “child prodigy” in the music space was a term which I thought was used loosely, and one which was overrated. I often watched tweens on competitions such as Idols, South Africa’s Got Talent and The Voice, as crowds watched on in awe with tears streaming down their faces as contestants battled it out for stardom. “There’s no such thing as a prodigy. If the kid is good, the kid is good.” I often thought to myself.
For me at least, this belief held true until recent times. Watching documentaries of artists such as Michael Jackson, Jackie Evancho, Lorde, Britney Spears, Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber (the list is actually endless), I couldn’t help but notice how early most of the “best” artists launched their musical careers.
An artist which I’ve had specific interest in is Birdy. After winning Open Mic UK in 2008 at the age of 12, and announcing herself in the industry with her rendition of Bon Iver’s Skinny Love, the definition of “prodigy” is perfectly tailored for this young Brit. Birdy’s sound has been compared to the likes of Lorde, Florence Welch and Amy Lee. Her radio single, Keeping Your Head Up, taken from her third studio album Beautiful Lies almost sounds like a combination of the three, specifically the latter. I had to keep reminding myself (and I still do) that this lady is only 19.
After listening to her new album ‘Beautiful Lies‘, I must say that it truly is a work of art. In true Birdy style, the production is heavily influenced by soft piano keys and drums as her sweet voice echoes through the 19 track masterpiece. Hardcore fans may argue that it’s the same old Birdy, and I would agree. But it’s the “same old Birdy” who’s been previously nominated for the prestigious Grammies and Brit Awards. I’m not sure if Beautiful Lies will be the album which sees her scoop any of the two, but I feel the bird cage has been left open on this one.