TWO 15-year-old girls from Chester will be going head to head with the big guns of TV’s X Factor in the race for the Christmas Number One spot.
Anastasia Calveley and Chelsea Grimshaw are Year 11 pupils at Howells School, Denbigh, and were among students from the girls-only boarding school who joined professional artists to cut the charity single at the school’s state of the art recording studios.
The chart challenger with a difference is the idea of music company Inscreen Records and they’ve chosen to use unsigned artists to cut a new version of the song Iridescent by US group Linkin Park to raise money for the communities devastated by the recent inner city riots.
Chelsea, from Backford, Chester, said: “It was a great experience and it was interesting just to be around the people who are working in the music business every day.
“I’d love to pursue a career in the entertainment industry. Music is something I really enjoy and this has given me an insight into how the business works.
“The school has really good facilities and the song is great so it’s cool to have the chance to do it.
“It would be amazing to get into the charts with it. That’s something you could only dream about.
“It would be a real surprise for my dad because he’s out of the country at the moment but my mum is really pleased I’ve had the chance to be part of this.”
Anastasia, also from Chester, said: “I’ve always loved singing since I was little and it’s something I’d like to pursue as a career.
“This really gives me a great insight into what it would be like and it’s been an amazing experience.
“I love indie music and rock and I really love the song but it would be incredible if we could get into the charts with it.”
For one singer it’s the chance to put her own X Factor heartache behind her and go head to head with her best friend in the battle to be the Christmas top of the pops.
Becki Herdman, from Rhyl, joined the rest of the singers and musicians at Howells for the recording sessions and to film the video that will accompany the single when it is released in early December.
The 24-year-old from Kinmel Bay is best mates with Rhyl’s X Factor star Sami Lee Brookes whose own vocal talents will be part of the Simon Cowell-masterminded charity single that’s favourite to be the Christmas number one this year.
Becki was all set to go to the X Factor auditions in Liverpool with Sami but had to drop out when she was rushed to hospital with gall bladder problems on the day of the Echo Arena tryouts.
She said:“This is another chance for me and it would be great if we can race the X Factor single for the top spot because there’s such a lot of talent out there.”
Robbie Locke, of Howells School, said: “We’re delighted to be part of this. The recording facilities here are top class and the school buildings and grounds and their setting make it a fabulous place to film.
“It’s also a great opportunity for the girls to get involved and take part and, who knows, they might be able to put chart-topper on their CVs at the end of it.”
Inscreen Music manager Geezer Millet, from Tarporley, said: “This is a hugely exciting project which stems from the recent riots and devastation that hit our city centres. Fifty per cent of the money raised will go to local communities who help keep children off the streets and away from drugs, alcohol abuse and violence.
“We will be producing a full budget video that will be out at the same time and all artists who help will be in this and sing the main chorus together.
“Inscreen Music specialises in unsigned bands and artists and aim to give them their big break in the music business.
“Howells was our choice as it combines a cutting edge recording studio with fantastic faciIities and a stunning setting and we’re glad to be able to involve the girls as well.”
Becki, who has a four-year-old son Jacob and works as a karaoke DJ at Aromas in Rhyl, said: “I love the song. It’s a real favourite of mine and Sami is really happy for me that I’m doing this and she’s phoned me up to wish me luck.
“We’re not rivals at all, just really good friends and this has given me a second chance after I missed out on the X Factor.
“It’s brilliant seeing Sami up there on the TV screen. I can’t believe my best friend’s on the telly but she is great and that’s the reason people like her, for the same reasons that she’s my best friend.
“She’s a really genuine person. She’s not some size zero, model type, she’s a big girl with a big voice and lots of personality and she’s an inspiration to everyone.”