EX-CARLISLE SCHOOLGIRL SIGNS RECORD DEAL WITH MAJOR LABEL
A former Cumbrian schoolgirl is gaining national acclaim after signing a record deal with Warner Atlantic.
Sarah Joyce – stage name Rumer – has come a long way since winning the school’s talent show back in 1994.
She is about to release her debut single Slow and has already had it named single of the week on Radio 2.
The 31-year-old singer/songwriter spent her teenage years in Carlisle at Newman School before leaving at 16 to pursue her ambition.
It has been a hard slog but years later she is finally hitting the big time and gradually becoming a household name.
She now hopes her success will inspire other young people to follow their dreams.
Having had her single listed ahead of its release on both Radio 2 and Magic FM, she is also preparing to support Jools Holland on his UK tour this autumn – the finale being a show at the Albert Hall.
She also has a celebrity fan in the form of easy listening legend Burt Bacharach, who invited her to sing for him when she visited California.
Sarah, who was brought up in Wentworth Drive, Lowry Hill, said her music is quite jazzy and has often been compared to The Carpenters.
Having moved to the city from the New Forest at the age of 11, she spent her secondary school years at Newman – and believes its teachers had a big part to play in her success.
“Newman was a lot of fun. They were very musically orientated. We did a lot of singing and drama and that really inspired me,” she said. “For me school was a positive experience. It wasn’t always easy but I enjoyed it and they encouraged us to follow our dreams.”
Saying that, Sarah – who lived in Carlisle with parents Jim and Tina and sister Kathy – admits it hasn’t been easy to break onto the music scene.
She left school at 16 and started playing gigs, trying to get her name known.
In 2003 she hit rock bottom when her mum died of breast cancer. She eventually picked herself back up and ploughed back into songwriting. She named herself Rumer after her mum’s favourite author, Rumer Godden, and her determination eventually earned her that big break.
“I’ve done every job going just to get by and there’s been a lot of rejection. It’s not like The X Factor where you all queue up for your chance, it’s very difficult trying to make a name and get some interest. I’ve seen a lot of very talented people chuck it in saying it’s not for them. You have to make sacrifices and be prepared to have no money.”
But for Sarah it has all been worth it after signing a deal with a major company. She now sits on Atlantic’s books alongside the likes of Paolo Nutini and James Blunt.
She is now awaiting the release of her single – which has had good reviews from The Guardian, Independent and Music Week – on August 23 followed by an album in the autumn.