Local Music Scene
The Virtual Popstar
By Brady Haran, BBC Leicester
Many people dream of becoming singer-songwriters with fans throughout the world. Leicestershire artist Charlie Fairbrother has turned internationally popstar without even leaving the comfort of her living room...
Strumming a guitar under the stairs at her home in Sileby, Leicestershire, she probably looks like any other aspiring singer, but Charlie already has overseas fans and plays several gigs a week.
The most amazing part of the whole thing, is she does all this without leaving her own house - all her performances happen in the virtual online world of Second Life.
By plugging her guitar and microphone into her computer, Charlie's songs are streamed live to listeners around the world.
'Sunshine' is dedicated to Charlie's son
Online 'clubs' and 'bars' invite Charlie perform, and she has a core group of fans already numbering 180.
Charlie performs through her avatar, or online persona, which is a gothic looking girl named Fable Sinatra.
She is named after her young son Fable, who is also the inspiration for her song 'Sunshine':
"My fans really like that song… think a lot of people relate to it."
She says playing in Second Life has improved her guitar playing, singing and confidence, but despite a couple of auditions at local pubs, Charlie does not feel ready to strum her stuff in real life:
Charlie has fans in America
"Performing for people who can't really see me is easier than performing in real life.
"When I first started performing in Second Life it felt really strange, sitting in front a computer playing along!
"It's probably not a normal thing to be doing, but I find it quite natural now."
Video journalist Brady Haran has turned virtual journalist as he explores the realms of Second Life. Follow his journey on BBC East Midlands Today, Monday to Friday from 18:30-19:00.
last updated: 21/08/07
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