Personalities | Adele | The BRIT School
As a schoolgirl, Adele had music constantly on the brain. She even persuaded her mother to make her a sequined eye patch to wear to school so she could channel pop star Gabrielle. Adele’s natural musicality saw her take up clarinet and guitar, but her ultimate devotion was reserved for vocals. She used to queue for hours to get into recordings of the Saturday morning chart show CD:UK and was a big Top 40 fan from an early age.
Adele’s family isn’t musical, yet the young songbird was certainly encouraged at home. By the age of 12, she had decided she wanted to be a professional singer. ‘We’d be watching The X Factor and my family would tell me I should go on,’ she recalled. ‘But then you’d see a parent on the show, saying “My child is the next Mariah,” and the kid would be rubbish. So I’d look at them and think, F*** you, you just want me to be embarrassed for a good laugh.’ She continued singing for family and friends. One family friend – a dance producer – declared her voice ‘wicked’ and invited her to record a cover of Blondie’s ‘Heart Of Glass’. As soon as the microphone was in her hand, Adele truly knew her calling.
At high school in South London, Adele got to hang out with the R&B kids and ‘sit around the playground singing’. Yet it was a rough place, even by London standards. In addition, she found pursuing music in the way she desired impossible. Cheeky Adele made her desire to sing and perform her own songs clear, but her teachers insisted she play clarinet and sing in the choir. Luckily, Adele’s talent at the tender age of 14 was enough to secure her a place at The BRIT School for Performing Arts and Technology in Croydon, just south of London. Despite its excellent reputation, The BRIT School wasn’t Adele’s first choice though. She had wanted to attend Sylvia Young Theatre School in central London because one of the Spice Girls – ‘Baby Spice’ Emma Bunton – had trained there, but her mother couldn’t afford the fees. As the BRIT School does not charge tuition fees for any lessons contained within the compulsory curriculum, this was the next best choice.
‘The kids were passionate about what they were doing there, whereas the ambition at my state school was to get pregnant and sponge off the government. That ain’t cool.’
Just Like ‘Fame’
Adele greatly preferred her new learning environment, despite an admission to early misgivings. ‘If I hear someone’s from stage school, I’d think they were a d***head,’ she once said. Luckily, there were no ‘jazz hands’ and no compulsory dancing, as she had feared: ‘It had free rehearsal rooms and free equipment, and I was listening to music all day, every day, for years. The music course was really wicked.’ Adele...
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