Plymouth second year reaches second stage of auditions for The Voice

A star is born

Most student singers only do music as a sideline, but one Plymouth second year came tantalisingly close to TV stardom when she reached the blind audition stage for the BBC’s The Voice.

Ashleigh Sladen, who studies Marine Biology and Coastal Ecology, tells us music has always been a big part of her life.

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She said: “I started singing when I was very young, but I really started doing music in 2010 with my band.

“My music is mainly acoustic/pop – most of my songs are quite chilled. My influences include The 1975, Sia, Allison Iraheta and Robert Francis.”

Ashleigh is originally from France, but has had even more opportunity to make music since her move to Plymouth.

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She said: “I find the Plymouth music scene amazing. I started off at the Jam House at the university – I met some really lovely people there.

“Everyone is connected and we’re just one big happy family, which is nice. It’s a cool evening to go to every Thursday night.

“Since BBC Introducing In Devon came to Jam House in February, I started playing loads of gigs. Every week I play in at least one place.

“The ones I play the most are Jam House, The Woodside, The Penguin Lounge, The West Hoe, Jam Jar and Roundabout.”

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Ashleigh’s brush with telly fame came when the uni put on an audition for The Voice.

“I thought I would try it just for fun,” she says: “Next thing I knew, the production company had contacted me to go to the next audition, before the blind auditions.

“I decided to go to London and in July I went there to audition in front of a producer and a vocal coach. Then I waited for the results.

“Sadly it was a no – they didn’t say why. I think I said I was quite busy with uni, which probably didn’t help me. But it was still cool auditioning!”

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Ashleigh says she enjoyed the experience, and it hasn’t put her off music – in fact, she’s just getting started.

She said: “The experience was really awesome – it opened me doors for me with magazines and stuff.

“It also gave me more confidence and more practice for if I ever go on a show again.

“I’m still going to continue playing gigs while I continue my degree, as well as hopefully getting some more original songs and music videos out, as well as an EP.”

You can check out Ashleigh’s Facebook page here.

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