Local performer Hayley Waller from Camborne, Cornwall has competed against over 10,000 contestants in the largest singing competition in the UK.
Since the age of 14, Hayley has sang her way throughout Cornwall as a local vocalist both with established cabaret acts and also as a solo artist performing in venues such as Alverton Manor, Tregenna Castle Estate, Greenbank Hotel and Penmorvah Manor.
Despite being forced to take a break from singing during a 2 year period of ill health she is now back with new songs, a new look and a retrained voice that's fresher and stronger than it's ever been.
"Retraining felt as frustrating as my forced hiatus but being able to sing once again makes it all worth it. Singing is my passion and I'm so proud to be representing Cornwall in Open Mic UK 2012.
This competition is far different from any other I've entered. Contestants must prove their commitment to the music industry and are judged on their ability to not only believe in themselves, but to gain the confidence of an audience and get them to have faith in the music you're not only singing, but promoting too."
The first stage of Open Mic UK gives auditionees a mere two minutes to perform a song of their choice. Hayley chose to sing the legendary Etta James' At Last to which the judges gave a thumbs up. She's now preparing a new song for the regional finals on 13th October 2012. This time she'll be performing 3.30min of a song of her choice to a live audience as part of the Open Mic UK 2012 live stage show, but for now she says she's keeping her regionals final song a closely guarded secret.
Hayley's a firm believer that being a strong performer is far more than being a quality singer, "it's about understanding ever word that comes out of your mouth, being passionate enough to connect with your music and then share the journey with your audience. That's the spark that some performers have and others lack. Live acts have the aesthetics to deal with too. It's a sensory journey that you need seduce your audience to join you on."
Besides the theatrics of a good performance, Hayley also recognises that a large portion of the hard work lies in promotion and business savvy. "My parents are entrepenuers so I've grown up understanding the importance of believing in your business and music is by no means different. It's a business that everyone who's involved in wants a chunk of. Open Mic UK encourages contestants to prove their ability to work behind the scenes as well as on the stage."
The regional finals that Hayley is entered for are taking place in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire but despite the fact she'll be almost 400 miles from her hometown, she's determined to put Cornwall on the map.
"Unfortunately I was only available for the West Yorkshire auditions but that's not stopping me proudly taking Cornwall forward in Open Mic UK 2012. I've set up a facebook fan page, twitter and band profile or those who can't make the journey to Dewsbury for the live show so that I can still get feel strength of the local support."
Please show your support and share Hayley's pages by following the links below: