Observations: Faryl in a winter wonderland

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The Independent Culture

While most teenagers are squabbling with their parents over pocket money, the teen classical singing sensation Faryl Smith, 14, has been busy signing a £2.3m record deal with Decca.

The mezzo- soprano appeared on ITV's Britain's Got Talent when she was 12 years old, before nabbing the largest record deal ever awarded to a schoolchild at the age of 13.

The release of her first album, Faryl, in February beat even the debut albums of Luciano Pavarotti and Katherine Jenkins to become the fastest-selling classical debut album in chart history.

This year, she opened the Classical Brit Awards and performed a duet with José Carreras at the Hampton Court Festival. A few weeks ago, she was the youngest-ever recipient of a Variety Club award in its 57-year history.

Now she is releasing her second album, Wonderland, named after one of her favourite books, Alice in Wonderland. "Whether I listen to Beyoncé or Vivaldi, music is supposed to transport you away, escape from the everyday," says Smith, who, on the album cover, emerges polished-looking from an enchanted, snow-flaked forest or perched on a dinky crescent moon.

Her versions of "Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence (Somewhere Far Away)" as well as "O Holy Night" may recall another teen star, Aled Jones. His cover version of "Walking in the Air" in 1985 was also a Christmas favourite – but at least she doesn't have to worry about her voice breaking.

'Wonderland' is out on Monday

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