Two aspiring singer-songwriters have reached the regional finals of the Open Mic UK 2012 talent competition.
North London Collegiate GCSE student Hannah Kessler, 15, will compete against 25 other singers in the under-16 category.
“I’ve always loved performing, creative writing and poetry, so I decided to put them to use and become a musician," Hannah explained. “I like listening to rock music and a lot of people say I sound like Carole King.”
Hannah, who also plays guitar, will perform original material at the Hayes concert and hopes to make the final seven who will play at the O2 Arena.
“I’ve been offered two paid gigs in the past, including the Enterprise in Kentish Town, but I’ve not been able to do them because I’m too young – which is quite frustrating. They’ve told me to come back when I’m 18, but hopefully I won’t have to wait that long."
The other regional finalist is Michaela Minkin, 13, who attends Dame Alice Owen's School in Potters Bar. She will compete against 22 others in Watford at the end of the month. Seven will make the finals.
“I’ve always liked music and have sung every day since I started talking. I’m nervous and very excited," Michaela said.
Open Mic's Chris Grayston said: “We are looking to find an act that has something unique to offer, with both the ability to deliver a strong live performance but also potential to become a professional recording artist. There is so much talent out there I’m sure we can find that star.”