A rising singer-songwriter is appealing for help to get her foot on the ladder to fame.
Leoni Jane Kennedy has been invited to perform at London FolkFest, and she’s launched a funding call to support the estimated £500 cost to attend.
Former Iron Maiden and Cutting Crew musician Tony Moore has asked her to appear as part of the festival at The Bedford Pub in Balham – a venue which has helped launch the careers of stars such as Ed Sheeran, Paulo Nutini and KT Tunstall.
But with the last train back from London to Blackpool at 9.45pm, the 15-year-old and her mum Katrina will need to stay in the capital overnight.
Katrina said: “We are trying to raise finds to help with the train and hotel costs as the opportunity is too good to miss.
“The festival has a small budget but with Leoni only being 15 I need to accompany her.
“She does so much local charity work and has raised money for Fleetwood RNLI, Brian House Children’s Hospice and Kids Company in London for inner-city deprived children, so a little help back from the community would be welcome.”
The young singer from Thornton, who attends Millfield Science and Performing Arts College, will be sitting her GCSE exams this summer, but the timetable allows her to take advantage of the opportunity without missing any tests.
She’s previously performed in London, taking the title at the 2013 Rock The House competition, which saw her performing in Parliament, where she met Tony Moore.
The veteran music man said: “Since meeting her when she won the Rock The House I have continued to follow Leoni’s career and help where I can to raise her profile.
“Leoni has fantastic talents that belie her young age and I see enormous potential for her to have a long and successful career in this business.”
Alfie Boe has also given the youngster his backing, as she regularly joins his older brother Joe for gigs in Fleetwood.
The top tenor said: “I am delighted to see home grown talent, such as Leoni Kennedy, pursue her passion for music.
“With the proper support and training she will be a great ambassador for the region.”
Leoni’s favourite act is Canadian rock band Rush, although she says she – and her audiences – struggle to describe her musical style.
“People tell me I’m like nothing they’ve ever heard,” she said. “And what I write is completely different to the music I listen to.
“Tony’s been a good friend promoting me, and tells me about opportunities I might be interested in.
“He has invited me to the festival and I don’t want to miss it.”
Visit www.gofundme.com/LeoniJaneKennedy to support the festival efforts.