Page 3 Profile: Birdy, singer

The low-down on today's newsworthy names

Did I see her on the TV at the Opening Ceremony?

Yes, you did. Jasmine Van den Bogaerde, better known by her somewhat more succinct stage name Birdy, sang 'Bird Gerhl', a mournful but uplifting song by Mercury Prize-winning act Antony and the Johnsons. The lyrics ("I've been searching for my wings some time, I'm gonna be born into soon the sky") couldn't have been more appropriate, reflecting both the ceremony's enlightenment theme and the personal battles some athletes endured on their way to the Games.

But who is she?

Aged just 12, the Hampshire-born singer songwriter won a nationwide singing competition, and she was offered a recording contract. Three years passed, and in 2011 she released a cover of Bon Iver's 'Skinny Love'. Birdy's version of the song was picked up by Radio 1's Fearne Cotton, and it reached number 17 in the charts - far higher than the original. The campaign around her debut album was an expensive affair,  but the self-titled record only got to number 17 - a disappointing position for a hyped new album. It eventually went gold in England and platinum in France.

What type of music is it?

Her debut album largely consisted of slow, dolorous indie-pop covers. Refreshing, perhaps, in a modern pop environment dominated by the ear-splitting pound of industrially produced dance music, but critics weren't too keen. Rolling Stone said it was the "most boring music ever recorded by a teenager". But you have to remember she is still only 16. And it's not as if she has gone off the radar completely. She contributed a song to the soundtrack of blockbuster The Hunger Games, and recorded another with Mumford & Sons for Pixar's new feature, Brave.

So will she get a Paralympic sales boost?

She almost certainly will. All eyes were on the Ceremony last night, and you can bet a fair few of them will be going straight onto iTunes to download her tracks. Kate Bush and Oasis both shot up the charts after their music was featured in the Closing Ceremony, and Emile Sande's album even returned to the number one spot.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: HR Manager

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are in need of a HR Manage...

h2 Recruit Ltd: Business Development Manager - HR Consultancy - £65,000 OTE

£35000 - £40000 per annum + £65,000 OTE: h2 Recruit Ltd: London, Birmingham, M...

Day In a Page

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there