Victoria Hart is an up-and-coming eighteen year old singer, who was discovered while working as a waitress.
Victoria attended the Mougins International School in the French Riviera and in the summer of 2004, she had just finished her GCSEs. Having finished school and exams for the summer, she did what she liked to do best, and that was to sing jazz to friends and family.
At one of these events, a Jazz Picnic near Cannes, hit-songwriter Geoff Gurd heard the music of Ella Fitzgerald and Nina Simone being sung with a voice reminiscent of the late Eva Cassidy. He was immediately struck by the raw talent that this young teenager possessed.
A mere two weeks or so later, Victoria Hart put on some headphones at Gurd's recording studio and recorded a couple of songs. It was the first time she had ever been in a recording studio but as Geoff remarked, it was as though she had been doing it all her life. And so was born a musical relationship between a 15-year old novice jazz singer and a well-known writer and producer of R&B. The partnership was unlikely but perfect. Since then Geoff has written a raft of songs specifically for Victoria. Based on her own thoughts and ideas, the words encapsulate how a teenage girl views the world, set to the rhythms of pop, jazz, swing and blues. Victoria, Geoff and Lynne Pearson have formed a team of singer, writer/producer and manager who, together with a 6-strong promotional team, are developing a debut album to be launched in 2007.
Victoria has been getting a great response when ever she has performed live she attracted terrific reviews at The Isle of Wight Jazz Festival, engaging with the audience with the ease of an experienced professional.
In May 2006 she also performed at the Cannes Film Festival, which meant her fanbase was steadily building both in the UK and abroad. Her natural retro style of the 40's and 50's - and her not-slight resemblance to Marilyn Monroe - was perfect, as she delivered jazz and swing numbers night after night at The Pangaea Club. It was here that Alex Proud heard Victoria and later invited her to sing at the opening night of his new Bar and Gallery in London, At Proud. The audience included journalists and club owners and from this she was asked to perform at The Pigalle Club, a new 40s style club in Piccadilly in London. Victoria supported the Blue Harlem Group in the coolest jazz venue in the city on what was her 18th birthday. A journalist from the publication 'In London' was enchanted by the performance and Victoria has appeared in their 'Up and Coming' section.
Victoria has recorded her debut album, "Whatever Happened to Romance" in the UK, largely with original material and contributions from some great musicians, like Neil Drinkwater, who enjoyed many years as Van Morrison's musical director and Paul Robinson, the late Nina Simone's drummer for much of her career. After hearing Victoria's music, The Kick Horns were only too happy to record the brass for her album, during their break from Eric Clapton's World Tour. She will be performing at a three day jazz festival at Woburn in late July.
Her style has been described as "renaissance of all things kitsch and fabulously forties".The 20-year-old was signed by Decca records in a £1.5 million record deal in 2007 after being picked to perform for the stars at a party in Cannes, FranceHowever, after being dropped by the label, she is now working at a strip club charging £20 for lap dances.
She also pole dances topless under the name Bella at the Cave club in Chelmsford, Essex.
Hart, who released her latest album The Lost Gershwin a year ago, told The Sun: “I'm doing this for the cash. That's it.
“I've had some problems but things are still working out. I didn't want anyone to know about this
Hart enjoyed a meteoric rise to fame after being spotted at The Naked Turtle restaurant in Richmond, London, where she worked as a waitress and singer.
A customer asked her to perform at the Cannes film festival at a yacht party organised for celebrities including Clooney, Pitt and Matt Damon.
The exposure led to offers from record labels, a tour and a string of television appearances. She has become famous for her 1940s jazz style.
Referring to her work as a stripper, California-born Hart said: “The worst bit is when they try and touch you. It can be horrible, but the money's good.”
Hart’s manager, Geoff Gurd, said: “You never know, this could be a good career move. I wasn’t aware of this, I only just found out myself and I’m still reeling.”
Hart, of Aldgate, East London, who started singing professionally when she was 16, said she has signed a new record deal and hopes to begin recording in Los Angeles next year
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