A soulful beauty queen with dreams of winning more Grammys than Adele is one step closer to fame.
Teenager Nikki Soetan is just two shows away from securing a life-changing performance at The O2 after sailing through the auditions of Live and Unsigned – the UK’s largest national music competition for original acts.
The 16-year-old from Greenwich was among 100 successful musicians out of the 500 hopefuls that battled it out at the Camden auditions in front of industry experts on Saturday February 18.
With around 40,000 acts entering across the country, Nikki – who holds the title of Miss Teen South-East London - will join 60 performers in her regional finals back at Dingwalls, Camden on April 1.
She said: “Truthfully I go for so many auditions and I never get through – I auditioned for Live and Unsigned in 2009 but didn’t get it.
“I thought ‘I’ll just go for it anyway’.”
Nikki sang a cover of Etta James’ I’d Rather Go Blind for her audition piece.
“It was kind of nerve-wracking.” She added.
“One of the judges asked me how I thought I’d done and I said ‘honestly, I think I could have done better’ but she told me I got through out of 500 people – that’s only one in five who auditioned.
“I was really happy – I was actually nearly in tears.
“The first thing I did was call my mum.”
Singer/songwriter Nikki found her voice around five years ago and even performed at Wembley Stadium with the Motown band she joined in school.
She said: “Sometimes I might just be in the shower and I have to jump out, get my phone and start recording when lyrics come to me.
“It’s my dream to be a singer.
“Adele’s doing pretty good at the moment, six Grammys in one night - now that would be a dream come true.”
New to 2012, Live and Unsigned is also being filmed for a Sky TV fly-on-the-wall documentary.
If Nikki triumphs in the area finals, she will be performing at London’s biggest indoor festival in July, Live Fest at The O2, before celebrity judges including former Slade front man Noddy Holder and Radio 1’s Annie Nightingale.
Acts are competing for the main prizes which include £10,000 to be spent on development, a £10,000 publicity investment, gigs at festivals in Canada, Italy and Latvia, a UK tour of up to 100 shows and a UK festival tour including guaranteed slots at Norfolk Spectacular, Boardmasters, London Summer Jam and Lancaster Music Festival.
Nikki will next perform in her regional finals on Sunday April 1 at Dingwalls in Middle Yard, Camden Lock.
Tickets are £8.
For bookings visit www.liveandunsigned.uk.com