Sixteen from North Yorkshire, Billie Marten is a yearning folk prodigy. Writing songs from the age of nine, she was first recognised for her talent when her mother put a video of her singing on YouTube, so her grandparents could watch it in France. It spread like wildfire and quickly received hundreds of thousands of hits.
Within months, the singer had been approached to audition for two TV talent shows – but she turned them down and continued to upload songs to YouTube and SoundCloud under her real name, Billie Tweddie. If you search for them, you can hear a songwriter growing in confidence and maturity, culminating in the achingly delicate tracks like Ribbon and Bird, both of which have been played on BBC Radio 1 and 6 Music.
This year, she has toured with fellow folk singer Lucy Rose and played the BBC Introducing Stage at the Reading Festival, fitting in gigs around her A-Level homework (she’s studying English, French and Art).
Along the way, she’s picked up a phalanx of celebrity supporters, including Ed Sheeran, who tweeted last month that (her song) “Bird is stunning”.