Rapping Thetford waitress reaches final of national talent contest

A Norfolk teenager is hoping to be the next Nicki Minaj by winning a talent competition organised by her employer with a rap song.

Sophie Burr-Walpole, 18, of Pine Close, Thetford has reached the national final of the Whitbread's Got Talent competition with her song Whitbread Working about her work as a waitress at The Warrener restaurant at the town's Premier Inn hotel, which is owned by hotel and restaurant chain Whitbread.

Her track, on the company's website, is accompanied by a video and viewers can vote for their favourite Whitbread employee to go through to the final at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry on May 10. The contest is open to any Whitbread employee with a skill or talent.

Her lyrics are set to the sound of the song Ray Charles by American rap group Chiddy Bang.

She said: 'I saw the advertisement for the competition on the noticeboard at work and I thought I may as well give it a go, it would be a bit of fun.

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'So I just had to sit there and think of everything that is linked to the company and how I could work that into the song.'

The former Charles Burrell High School pupil in Thetford cited her influences as the rappers Jay-Z, Tinie Tempah, Kano, Drake and Lil Wayne and said she would like to emulate their success, but would have to overcome gender stereotypes in a rap industry largely dominated by men.

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However, she added some female rappers had been successful, such as Nicki Minaj.

The sports science student, who plays football for Hethersett, does not have any recording equipment for her songs at the moment, so she uses her iPod and computer.

She said: 'It is a relatively small competition but it is a step for me. I do get a bit of banter at work about it, but I just brush it off. My family are really proud of me.'

To view the video, visit http://whrtube.com/videos/view/172 and to vote for Sophie, click on the big green 'Thumbs Up' button beneath the video.

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