Katie Melua – singer from Georgia
Katie Melua was born in a Georgian city Kutaisi on 16 September 1984. Her early childhood she spent in Tbilisi and then moved to Batumi. When Katie was 8 years old, her parents made a decision to leave their native country and went to Belfast, Ireland.
In Belfast, Katie’s family lived for 5 years and then moved to southeastern London. When she turned 15, Melua got a chance to participate in a TV contest called "Stars Up Their Noses." She sang Mariah Carey’s “Without You.” No one expected Katie to win but she managed to do it. Even though the prize she got for the victory wasn’t anything huge, Melua got invaluable experience of performing onstage.
When Katie Melua passed her exams and enrolled in the BRIT School for the Performing Arts. While studying, Katie discovered a variety of music styles and directions, as well as such famous artists as Queen, Joni Mitchell, and Bob Dylan. She was very impressed by the songs of Eva Cassidy. When Melua found out that Cassidy was dead, she wrote a tribute song for her called “Faraway Voice.”
The composer and producer Mike Batt came to BRIT School looking for musicians for his band. At the audition, Katie performed “Faraway Voice” and Batt realized that he found a talented singer. He helped Katie sign a contract with Dramatico, which lasted for many years.