Bungay singer Vashti Anna dreams of stardom

Victoria NichollsSinger-songwriter Vashti Anna, 28, is one of a Suffolk family trio treading the pathway towards musical success, and believes the time has now come for her to put her own stamp on the music world.Victoria Nicholls

She is one of a Suffolk family trio treading the pathway towards musical success, and believes the time has now come for her to put her own stamp on the music world.

Singer-songwriter Vashti Anna, 28, is the latest in her family bidding to make it big with her new album, You Are Free.

Talented but as yet unsigned, Vashti hails from the picturesque town of Bungay, where she grew up surrounded by music. With folk musician parents, and her two brothers making their names in the music business, Vashti truly has performing in her blood.

Her brother Charlie Winston took France by storm by topping the iTunes digital download charts with his single Like a Hobo earlier this year.

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Fresh from touring with her other brother Tom Baxter, Vashti has plenty more gigs to look forward to in the UK, and will be supporting Charlie at concerts across France this summer. She said she is looking forward to her biggest solo performance to date, a sell-out concert in Paris for 2,000 people.

Her distinctive style is hard to define, but strongly features elements of jazz and folk music.

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'A friend of mine put it quite well, saying that it was crossed between Norah Jones and Feist,' she said. 'I'm trying to make it there myself and I'm getting there, slowly.'

Vashti recorded this, her third album, with Roy Dodds, from 80s pop band Fairground Attraction, best known for their single 'Perfect'.

Describing growing up at the King's Head in Bungay, which made its name as a top music venue under the ownership of her parents, as 'pretty mad', she said: 'I have good memories of it. Apart from running riot we had the whole place to explore and there was a lot of music going on.'

After attending Bungay Primary, Middle and High schools she studied performing arts at Lowestoft College before heading for the bright lights of the capital.

She landed a job in the industry as the assistant manager of Angel Recording Studios, but after three years she struck out in a slightly different direction.

'I decided I didn't want to be on the admin side - I wanted to be on the musical side,' she said.

Now living in North London, she supports her singing and song writing with various jobs, which have included waitressing, busking on the underground, being a backing vocalist, and even working as a life model.

Interested in securing a recording deal, but only if it is 'the right deal', Vashti said: 'I'm very happy at the moment. I've got creative freedom and that's what any musical artist wants. Life is exciting.'

She puts her Jekyll and Hyde character down to being a Gemini.

'I listen to a lot of jazz, but what I listen to most is Ella Fitzgerald and Madonna, and acoustic music like Joni Mitchell.

'One minute I want to do pop and the next I want to do folk. I want to the fun stuff and also the heart stuff.'

Vashti makes the trip back to Suffolk regularly to see friends and family, often playing gigs in people's homes.

'It's a nice way of doing intimate gigs and selling albums,' she said. 'It's more of a party atmosphere, you don't have to go to the pub and spend a fortune on drinks.'

Vashti will next be performing at the King's Head in Bungay on May 23.

Visit www.myspace.com/vashtimusic

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