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Her new video was played on TV’s Saturday Brunch last weekend as one to watch and she’s touring all over the country. But Fiona Bevan is currently best-known for writing One Direction’s hit Little Things. Jo Roberts reports.
Fiona Bevan has paid her dues for this time in the spotlight. Having won industry credibility and financial freedom after penning a massive hit for One Direction, she is now on the cusp of recognition as a singer in her own right.
It was with her good friend, chart-topping singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran, that Fiona wrote Little Things, the track that the biggest boyband in the world took to No1 two years ago.
“Ed and I have been friends for a long time from gigging and being in the same circle of songwriters,” explains Fiona, who hails from Suffolk but lives in London. “Ed was just starting to get really successful and I was doing lots of co-writing with other people, so I said to him, ‘Do you want to write a song together?’ He came to my flat and we spent an afternoon drinking lots of tea, and wrote a song full of real details about people that we know and love. It was a really wonderful experience.”
But that tender shoot of a potential song looked like it would never see the light of day.
“We lost it for a while – we only recorded it on Ed’s phone and that got lost with the recording on it,” remembers Fiona. “I found the lyrics again about a year later, and Ed remembered how it went. He was seeing One Direction at events around the London Olympics at that time, and he ended up playing it to them – it was very organic how it happened.”
The rest is history.
“Little Things went to No1 for them that November 2012. I wasn’t working with Ed because I thought ‘I want to get famous’, I just wanted to work on interesting things. But it definitely put me on the map as a songwriter, helped getting a publishing deal and making some new connections.
“Because I got a publishing deal I wasn’t having to juggle about five jobs any more, I could be a full-time songwriter and musician.”
Musician is accurate – Fiona had piano and violin lessons as a child but is self-taught on a host of instruments, including guitar and ukelele.
She has forged her career through hard graft, and this week plays two Kent gigs to promote her album.
She describes Talk to Strangers as ‘pop in disguise’, although pop doesn’t seem to do justice to Fiona’s songwriting flair. The album is packed with uplifting and haunting instant classics.
“Well, Kate Bush and Joni Mitchell were pop singers,” counters Fiona, referring to just two of the female artists she’s frequently compared to.
If talent alone ensures fame, then Fiona’s name could become as revered as any in the business. But short-term her hopes are more modest.
“I still haven’t met One Direction – I want to tell them how much I like their version of my song.”
Fiona appears on Wednesday, April 16 at the Carlton Cinema in Westgate-on-Sea. Tickets £3. Then on Thursday, April 17 at The Lighthouse in Deal. Entry free.
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