Bermudian folk rock singer to play at major UK festival
A Bermudian singer/songwriter is to perform at a top music festival in the UK next month – one of the first major events as England loosens off its Covid-19 restrictions.
Anna Colette said she was delighted to be able to perform her folk rock music at the Cheltenham Music Festival on July 10 as one of the featured artists.
She said: “It feels great. I was really happy for them to have asked me. I am really excited for Cheltenham.
“I have done quite a few Zoom performances recently, but it’s not the same and I have done some live stream stuff as well, but it feels so unnatural.
“It’s important to find ways to keep things going and survive, but there’s nothing like the real thing.”
The Cheltenham Music Festival, which runs alongside a Jazz Festival, is one of the most prestigious events of its type in the world.
Ms Colette, 22, was born in Bermuda and was a pupil at Warwick Academy until she was nine, when her family moved to the UK.
She said that growing up she would regularly visit the UK because, although her father, Glenn Richardson, was Bermudian, her mother, Maggie Singham, was British.
Ms Colette said: “I have now been in the UK longer than I was in Bermuda, which feels a bit weird.
“I was always back and forth to the UK, so it was a fairly easy shift, although, being in a small English village, a lot of people didn’t even know Bermuda was a place.
“People were asking about the aliens and stuff. There were quite a few negative experiences being from Bermuda and living in a small English village where I was almost the only brown person.
“It was a very different cultural experience.”
Ms Colette said she always had a love for music, but she only began to take guitar lessons after she moved to the UK.
She said her interest increased when she started secondary school, where she was able to start learning songs she enjoyed.
Ms Colette said: “My dad played so much reggae and old country, like Patsy Cline, so I would take my guitar teacher songs I wanted to learn and he would listen and then teach me.”
She added: “I was very shy when I was younger and I struggled to make friends.
“Coming from Bermuda, socialisation felt really different, but in music I found something I could do quite well.
“It was a way to show off and surprise everyone that I was really cool.”
She later joined the Pindrop Band, a folk group, and studied music at the British and Irish Modern Music Institute in Bristol.
She joined forces with several friends at the institute and performed as Anne Colette and The Average Men.
The band played several shows in Bristol, but slowed down in October 2019 as the members prepared for the restart of their studies.
The onset of the Covid-19 pandemic presented a new challenge for the band after they had graduated.
Ms Colette said: “We didn’t really know how long it would be for. We didn’t think it would last this long.”
She added that the pandemic had not helped her productivity, but she had continued to work on Zoom performances for BIMM.
Ms Colette added that in addition to landing a slot at the Cheltenham Festival, she had secured a management contract and will record new music at Rockfield Studios in Wales – the same studio used by top bands such as Queen, Oasis and The Stone Roses.
She said: “It feels like a bit of dream.”