Billie Marten

Yearning, breathy folk from an adolescent prodigy

Fact titleFact data
From
Ripon, North Yorkshire
Age
16

She’s only just finished her GCSEs, but Billie Marten looks set for stardom.

When I first heard Billie via BBC Introducing I was knocked sideways. Her up close and personal lyrics coupled with an ear for an intimate sound is utterly captivating.
Huw Stephens, Radio 1

The teenager, from Ripon in North Yorkshire, has been making music since she was nine and was first discovered when her mother put a video of her singing on YouTube, so her grandparents could watch it in France.It got hundreds of thousands of hits, she told Source Magazine: “I didn’t understand how quickly it could spread. I was super young and it was crazy.”

Within months, the singer had been approached to audition for two TV talent shows – but she turned them down and continued to upload songs to YouTube and SoundCloud under her real name, Billie Tweddie. If you search for them, you can hear a songwriter growing in confidence and maturity, culminating in the achingly delicate tracks like Ribbon and Bird, both of which have been played on BBC Radio 1 and 6 Music.

This year, she has toured with fellow folk singer Lucy Rose and played the BBC Introducing Stage at the Reading Festival, fitting in gigs around her A-Level homework (she’s studying English, French and Art).

Along the way, she’s picked up a phalanx of celebrity supporters, including Ed Sheeran, who tweeted last month that (her song) “Bird is stunning”.

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