Hayley Smith (21) and Alex Thérin (22) have reached the regional stages of one of the UK’s biggest live talent contest, Live and Unsigned 2009, this weekend.
After beating off competition from hundreds of other wannabe musicians at an audition in Hampshire, the duo will now be performing two songs on stage at the next round of the competition, in Bristol this Sunday. If they are successful, the couple, who perform under the name Archyleap, will be through to the final on Sunday 3 May, which is being televised on ITV.
Nationally, 10,000 people have entered the competition. The overall winners will be given a recording and management contract with Future Music and will have up to £20,000 invested in their first single. Last year’s winners, Kiddo 360, won an award at the Vodafone Live Awards in October.
On Sunday the Jersey pair will perform a song that they penned themselves, called Blackcurrant, as well as a cover of the Christina Aguilera song Hurt.
Miss Smith attended JCG Primary and Beaulieu Convent School before taking a two-year course at Access to Music in Lincoln. Her boyfriend, who went to Grainville School, currently works in Island Music.
The couple have been together five years, after meeting at a gig. They have been performing together, as Archyleap, since then – she is the singer while he plays guitar and puts base and drums to their music.
Miss Smith, who has been singing since the age of 14 with teacher Lelia Johnson, is no stranger to this kind of competition. ‘I did a talent competition called Idol last year and got through to the regional finals,’ she said. ‘It was organised by the same producers as Live and Unsigned and they said I should give it another go this year. I’m feeling quite nervous and shaky about Sunday, but hopefully it will be OK.’
Future Music’s Paul King – the former manager of Tears for Fears and tour manager for Genesis – said that the competition provided acts with a great opportunity to develop, improve and impress.
‘We have found that the competition is so effective for us to discover talented acts and bands and to place them in the music market place,’ he said. ‘We can really see those acts who have the commitment and fan base to be successful in the industry.’
To hear the couple’s music, visit www.myspace.com/Archyleap. For more information on the competition, go to www.LiveandUnsigned.UK.com.