Chart storming British singing star Rumer launches her biggest UK tour to date at Blackpool Opera House tonight.
The tour comes a year to the month of her debut album’s release – Seasons Of My Soul – which has since sold over half a million copies in the UK alone.
Rumer was born in Pakistan where her father was an engineer involved in the construction of the enormous Tarbela Dam.
Previously, his job had taken him, together with his young family to the Western Australian outback, Tasmania and South Africa.
Rumer was the youngest of seven children who grew up with no TV or newspapers.
Her family were especially musical and her brother Rob gave Rumer her first guitar, which she taught herself to play, and on which, years later, she wrote all the songs on her debut album. Life changed when the family returned to the UK and settled in the New Forest. Having never seen a television before, she became obsessed with movie musicals.
“My songs have elements of that folk tradition which is what I grew up with,” she says. “But when I started writing on my guitar, I tended to combine it with these cinematic, epic chords. I’m always looking for a lilting, romantic melody. I basically wanted to write the soundtrack for Hedy Lamaar walking down that spiral staircase.”
Rumer left school at 16 and studied at art college in Devon before joining a fledgling indie rock band, La Honda. After moving back to the New Forest to be near her by then ill mother she rented a caravan and supported herself by putting on bands at local venues, teaching drama at a local college and briefly working for the Arts Council.
After her mother died in 2003 Rumer drifted to a countryside commune where she wrote many of her songs before “doing every job you could possibly imagine.”
Rumer’s luck changed when she met award-winning TV and musical composer Steve Brown and began bringing her material to life and winning fans including Burt Bacharach who flew her to California to sing for him. In early 2010 the word-of-mouth chain of events that surrounded her career began to pay dividends. She was found by her manager when he posted the question “Who Is The Most Underrated Person You Know?” on his Facebook page.
Five separate people, none of whom knew each other, replied with the word Rumer.
In March 2010 her hard work paid off and she signed to Atlantic records.
“I’m not concerned with what’s musically popular or fashionable, really,” she said. “All I wanted was to make something of quality that would stand the test of time, that people could come back to, and that was rooted in authenticity. Because that’s the kind of music I listen to.”