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Judge for Elle Stevenson

Belfast, United Kingdom
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Portrait of Elle Stevenson
Rarely does a musician have a song selected for a movie soundtrack before she releases her first album, but that is exactly what happened for Northern Irish musician Elle Stevenson prior to the launch of her debut album, “Coming Around”, which went on release 21st September 2009. Born and bred just a few streets from the legendary Van Morrison (although, admittedly several decades later!), Elle has already made her mark on the local scene and is looking set to do so further a-field. Indeed, it’s been an eventful year or two for the young pianist and singer; having received national media attention for receiving the one millionth review on the music investment website slicethepie.com in May 2008, she went on to win their showcase just a month later, securing herself the funding to record the long-awaited debut album.

In terms of her music, Elle has an evocative voice – strong, haunting, angst-ridden and defiant – which is perfectly suited to the kind of songs she writes, thirteen in all on the album and all of which are beautifully crafted tales of the pain and joys of love, friendship, betrayal and loyalty in the modern world. Even in person you’ll find Elle has a rare kind of honesty, one that doesn't allow her to shy away from wearing her heart on her sleeve, or from broaching subjects in her songs that others might find uncomfortable (such as the battle through her twenties with bulimia and anorexia). Perhaps this is why her songs have, at times, been described as "lyrically raw" and yet, they are so carefully framed by her trademark cascading piano lines, the uplifting harmony of the music and lyrics cannot fail to draw you into her unique, complex and beautiful world.

While Elle doesn’t tend to compare her music to other artists, or pigeon-hole it into one specific genre, she would list an impressive range of influences, including the likes of: Suzanne Vega, Justin Currie, Crowded House, the Dixie Chicks, Lucinda Williams, Patty Griffin, Alanis Morissette, Sarah McLachlan, Gillian Welch, Tracy Chapman, Angie Stevens, Sheryl Crow, Ryan Adams, Bill Mallonee, Bryan Adams, Coldplay, Rascal Flatts, The Beautiful South, Radiohead, Kings of Leon, The Fray, and Editors; not to mention a few you might not expect, such as Dame Shirley Bassey!

To date, Elle has honed her stage craft by supporting many artists, such as guitar legends Rodrigo y Gabriela and soul diva, Beverley Knight. However, with her already growing fan-base and reputation, the launch of her debut album seems set to take her another step towards the inevitable stardom that beckons….
 
 
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