Ryton singer aiming to win competition to perform at major music festival

Kellimarie Willis
Kellimarie Willis

A teenage singer from Ryton is appealing for the public to help her win a TV competition that will see her perform at music festival Radio One’s Big Weekend.

Singer-songwriter Kellimarie Willis, 14, has featured on CBBC’s Got What It Takes over the last eight weeks alongside her mum and former cabaret singer Debbie Nash.

The programme searches for the UK’s best young singers. Each week the contestants have to sing a song given to them, and the mothers of the singers in the bottom two each week face off in a challenge – such as a mud run or high step run - to earn their child points.

After episode nine airs on Tuesday, April 4, the public will have 24 hours to vote on the CBBC website for who they want to see in the final, which airs on Tuesday April 10.

Determined to support Kellimarie’s cause, Wasps invited her to perform in the Wasps Fan Village before their West Midlands derby with Worcester Warriors on Sunday March 26.

The Pattison College pupil has written more than 40 love songs to date, and regularly plays to crowds at The Bear in Rugby and The Fusilier in Leamington, and played at last year’s Godiva Festival.

She also launched her new EP – called Under The Same Stars – on Friday, March 24 at the Rialto Reborn in Coundon, which documents her journey throughout the programme.

She said: “The ultimate dream for me is to travel the world and show people what I can do, so winning this competition and being able to perform in front of thousands of people at Radio One’s Big Weekend would be massive for me.

“I had an amazing time in London filming the programme. It meant I was away from home for four weeks with my mum, but I got to meet people like Nick Grimshaw, The Vamps and Callum Scott who were able to give us some tips and advice.

“I’m really grateful to Wasps for giving me the opportunity to perform to a new crowd.”

Kellimarie is following in the footsteps of her mum Debbie, who has supported big name acts in the past such as Atomic Kitten and Lulu.

Debbie added: “I’m immensely proud of her and I think she is a lot better than what I was.

“If you were to take a bit of Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift and Adele and mix them all together – that’s the kind of artist she is.

“She is a quiet girl but as soon as she gets on that stage she comes alive.”