I was born in Chesterfield in the 1980s, into a very musical family. For a long time I avoided music. That was until I picked up the guitar when I was 15. With friends Ian Hoare, Chris Witham and my brother Stephen Willis, we formed a Band called “The Aardvarks”. Together until 2006, the band recorded 4 albums and did many Gigs on the Christian scene. This culminated in recording with Grammy Award winning producer Roger Lomas. After The Aardvarks split amicably, I was involved with the Worship group at my Christian Union at Durham University. With Studies I took a bit of a break from composing.
After graduating, I was vocal coached by the excellent and very talented Nikki McGregor. I learnt so much in a short space of time, which really helped build my confidence.
With the encouragement of my wonderful Husband Jake Howe, I recorded the album “Light&Shadows” in 2011, produced by my brother Stephen Willis and featuring Chris Witham (a Mini band reunion). Later that year I recorded a Live Album called “Live at 48 Studios”, this was an Acoustic album with some of my favourite covers and a few of my own compositions.
In 2011 I was fortunate to meet Ian Tompkins and Trevor McMaster from Making Tracks, who kindly gave me the opportunity to play at Bakewell Music Festival two years in a row, and also at Ashover Ale Festival – a night which produced the infamous “Bagthorpe Cow Shed Collective“. Along side this, I organised at “Live on Church Street” events – an Acoustic Cafe night, featuring local artists and lots of CAKE.
In 2012 I was very blessed in meeting the most amazing bunch of people, in filming The Choir: Sing While You Work. This BBC2 TV series hosted by Gareth Malone, centred around a Choir Contest between different workplaces. After months of hard work, we made it through to the final hosted at the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod, where we preformed Nina Simone’s “Feeling Good”. It was tough competition, but we walked away with the Trophy.
The following year, I was lucky enough to win a comeptiton to be recorded and produced Haynes Music Productions – this was one of the best experiences ever!
Recently I have been playing more gigs in the around Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire performing at Derby Feste, Derby Folk Festival, Kinckerbocker Glorious and The Book Cafe – its been a pretty busy year!
At the moment I am focusing on writing some new songs, as well as performing around the country with my acapella choir Noteability. I am refining my songwriting technique with the view to recording a new album soon, which should hopefully be the best one yet. 🙂