In the British music industry, Dionne Bromfield is working in a playing field of approximately one: herself.
British stars of her age – 13 on the release of her well-received debut covers set, nudging towards 15 with the presentation of her audacious second, self-written suite – are expected to dress angelically and sing choral numbers that have stood up to centuries of market research and recreate them, prompting a tear from wowed grandparents. They aren’t supposed to be channelling Lauryn Hill or Jazmine Sullivan, crafting perfectly adjudged, timeless soul melodies and lyrics to the gentle thunder of a hip-hop beat. If America has a strict lineage of street soul superstars inaugurated from their infancy, from baby MJ right through to Willow Smith, the UK has none. ‘I don’t feel any pressure,’ says Dionne, sitting in her immaculately pressed red school blazer, hair tied back, satchel by her feet in her North London management office, ‘I just do what I do. I love this record so much. I loved the first one but that was a stepping stone. This is my baby. It comes directly from me.’
Everyone around her loves Dionne. It’s not difficult to see why. She’s unnaturally polite and self-effacing. Humility comes as second nature to her. When at one point she says ‘I don’t even really rate my voice,’ I remind her that this is a press release to sell her record and she u-turns, if ever so slightly. ‘OK, you can say it’s brilliant then. But you say it, not me. I just sing the way I sing.’ (It’s brilliant, btw). It makes a certain sense that while all her school mates were texting their multiple votes for bolshy teen Cher Lloyd on this year’s X Factor – ‘they liked her attitude’ – Dionne was sympathetically rooting for ‘Scouse Sade’ Rebecca Ferguson’s take on classic soul singing. ‘We all hated Wagner, though,’ she adds, reminding you that while she is still not quite 15 and may have minor disagreements with friends over her musical maturity, she still has a firm grip of her senses.

Article Source

Leave a Reply