Britain’s Got Talent finalist, mezzo-soprano Faryl Smith admits she’s maybe doing things the wrong way round.
After massive TV and album success, she’s now two years into a four-year music degree.
But she’s still finding the time for a happy return to Worthing Assembly Hall for a gala concert in aid of Chestnut Tree House children’s hospice.
Singer, broadcaster and presenter Aled Jones and Classical Reflection will also be on the bill on Friday, November 17 – performers Faryl has worked with before.
“We had a lovely time last time in Worthing,” Faryl says. “All my family came. It was lovely, and I have worked with Aled before and also with Classical Reflection. It will be lovely to catch up with them.
“We will do a lovely mixture of music, classical cross-over songs and so on, things that people like. We do each work out what we are going to do separately, and then if there is going to be a clash, we will also work it out between us. It would be lovely to do a few duets together as well, but with everyone being so busy, sometimes it is hard to rehearse together in advance.”
At the age of 22, Faryl is marking ten years in showbiz: “I was 12 when I went on Britain’s Got Talent. Looking back, sometimes it seems like it was ages ago, but then sometimes you just remember it like it was all yesterday. It was a whirlwind experience that I would never take back. It was great.”
Faryl was the driving force: “Some people ask me whether it was my parents who were putting me forward, but it was exactly the opposite. My parents were very worried that I was so young and this was a huge TV programme. They didn’t know exactly what I was going into. It was going into the unknown. But I just wanted to sing. I loved singing, and there weren’t many competitions for my age group at that time.
“I didn’t really understand how big the competition was. To me, it was just somewhere I could sing. I didn’t know it was this massive, massive thing. I can’t pick a moment where I thought ‘Oh my gosh, what am I doing!’ If I were doing it now, I don’t think I could have done it. But when you were standing there, you were just singing, not thinking about the hundreds of people there and the millions of people behind the cameras. It was just something I loved doing.”
And now, Faryl is doing the formal training.
“I am doing a music degree, just really so I can extend my options in the future. Hopefully it will open more doors like if I want to do opera. If I didn’t do my training, I wouldn’t be able to call myself a proper classical singer.
“It was difficult to balance school and doing my GSCEs at the time as making two albums, and it is a balancing act again now, but as I say, I would never take it back. I look back sometimes and I can’t quite believe the things I have done.
“I think I got away with it because I was so young. As a 12-year-old they would not expect too much from me. It was just a talent that I had. But I am so grateful now to have the chance to do the degree which will open up more things that I can do.”