The next big thing in pop music has paid a visit to Spalding in the hope of following rock legend Jimi Hendrix nearly 50 years on.
Chantelle Lee (15) was the star attraction at Springfields Festival Gardens over the August Bank Holiday weekend, winning over fans as Hendrix did when he played at Barbecue 67 at Spalding’s former Tulip Bulb Auction Hall on May 29, 1967.
As a self-styled “Eurosian” singing starlet, born to a Singaporean dad and British mum, Chantelle has already attracted interested from music stars like hip hop artists Jay Z and P. Diddy with her songs, including The Other Side, Alone, When I Think of You, Perfect Hour and Shan Shan World.
Chantelle said: “Spalding is a beautiful town, so cute and so different from where I live in London.
“It’s more intimate and the people here seem to be more friendly, so it was really amazing to interact with the audience a lot.
“The shows at Springfields were a kind of test for me to develop my confidence and I really got to practice my vocals.
“It was so much fun and I got so much good feedback, with kids coming up on stage, asking me for my autograph and wanting to know where they could find my music.”
Chantelle started singing when she was 10 and while still living in Singapore, moving to the UK a year later.
“I had a keyboard in my bedroom which I’d play things on while singing,” Chantelle said.
“My mum said that I wasn’t too bad and she helped me pursue singing by starting to record my songs when I was 11.
The most important thing for me is to develop myself as an artist, improve my singing and also to develop a fan baseTeenage singer-songwrite Chantelle Lee
“After I flew over to the UK from Singapore, Mum got in touch with my agent Sky Andrew who has helped me and guided me in the right direction.”
Mr Andrew, a former Great Britain table tennis player, runs the London-based Skylet Andrew talent agency whose most famous client was ex-England footballer Sol Campbell.
Chantelle said: “I was surprised that Sky was quite interested in the music industry and since he became my manager, he’s worked so hard and been so passionate about things.
“The most important thing for me is to develop myself as an artist, improve my singing and also develop a fan base.”
Singer Chantelle Lee gave her new fans in Spalding plenty of chances to discover why one music producer has called her “the best young talent since Stacy Lattisaw”.
The teenager put on nine shows at Springfields Festival Gardens over the bank holiday weekend, a month after a week-long run of performances at the same venue.
Praise for Chantelle came from American music producer Alan Glass who has previously worked with Aretha Franklin, George Benson and Lattisaw, best known for her 1980 hit “Jump to the Beat”.
Chantelle said: “Lots of recording labels are interested in me and one magazine called me one of the next young music artists for people to watch out for. “But I just want people to listen to my music and get to know who I am.
“In a month’s time, I’ll be performing at bigger events.
“But it’s just a journey on which it’s so important to be yourself and stop going along with society’s standards.
“There’s so much pressure being put on how you should look, how you should sound and what you should wear.
“But you have to do your own thing and I like my songs because they reflect how I feel and my development as a person.”
Chantelle and Alan worked together in writing and producing her debut pop album, Shan Shan World, which includes some of the songs she performed in Spalding this summer.
“I’ve found that my music is quite versatile and appeals to all ages,” Chantelle said.
“I’ve been quite impatient at times, but I’ve learned to take into consideration people’s opinions of me.
“I do take what people say about me to heart, so I have to work on how to be totally confident in myself and not worry about what people think of me.”