Fifteen-year-old local singer Mia Williams-Watson has been celebrating after coming second overall in the Under-16 category in the Open Mic UK Grand Final.
Mia, from Kingston near Lewes, sang a cover of Run by Leonna Lewis and was delighted by her feedback.
She was told: “Beautiful voice and lovely control throughout.
“Really nice look and stage presence, you worked the stage well.
“You have demonstrated really strong vocals throughout the competition and developed even more with each performance.”
The Grand Final took place in the prestigious surroundings of the NEC in Birmingham.
Mia said: “I did feel very nervous but it was also incredibly exciting. Knowing that you are performing in front of so many successful people in the music industry and that there are scouts there watching and taking note is amazing.”
She has certainly impressed the judging panels throughout the competition. More than 9,000 auditions took place across the UK.
She won her place in the Grand Final by performing in the live showcases, battling through initial auditions and then the Regional and Area Finals.
Mia said: “I have won a day’s recording in a studio owned by one of the judges and I have been asked to contact a London talent producer!
“It is all about exposure and being seen.
“It was such a valuable experience. So many of the contestants had managers and coaches so I will have to look into that as I made all the decisions about the songs I was singing and the image I wanted to portray myself.
“I know I need help with mic control and getting backing for my songs.”
The talented young singer-songwriter added: “While I sang covers of songs in the competition I am very keen to perform my own songs now. Knowing my voice and performance style has improved is great. I am hoping to arrange a couple of special performances very soon.”
Mia busks regularly in Lewes and is a firm favourite with the locals, many of whom have been supporting her throughout the competition. In the past she has busked and raised money for local charities, including the Chestnut Tree Hospice, the RSPCA and Scotty’s Little Soldiers.
Mia said: “Once again I want to say a huge thank you to my family, my friends and the people of Sussex, especially those in Kingston and Lewes who have supported me throughout the competition.”