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If you don’t yet know Eliza Doolittle (and if that’s the case just where have you been all summer?) then you soon will. Her hit single Pack Up is one of those catchy summer tunes which will stick in your head for days on end and her album is bursting with classic pop songs. The 22-year-old grandaughter of Sylvia Young (of the theatre school fame) is about to set off on her first ever headline tour – which includes a date at Bristol Thekla. We caught up with her as she squeezed in a small tour of Europe…

Sounds like things have been going a little crazy for you recently, tell us about the past few months since you were signed to Parlophone?

Well I was signed a couple years ago but since in the past few months I’ve just been working really hard to get more and more people hearing the record and hearing me live. I have been doing a lot of festivals this summer, and have been doing a lot of traveling to get my music out to as many people as possible. I am just about to start touring here in the uk on my first headlining tour, then on tour with Paloma Faith !

How did you get your big break and were you surprised just how big that break was?
I was just constantly writing songs and gigging and the more I did the more people I met and wanted to come on board with the project, whether it’s been labels, publishing, booking agents press…it’s all just built up and all of it has helped me massively. When the album dropped I wanted and hoped for it to do well but had no idea it would do as well as it did!

I understand you’ve done some musical theatre, but what do you prefer playing music or acting?
I only did a little bit when I was very young and I never really liked the repetitiveness of 8 shows a week. I love the challenge of something different almost every day. Whether its writing a song, playing a show, doing a photoshoot or talking to you or anything!

How would you sum up your fashion style?
I love colours, short shorts, everything mini, nike high tops, gold jewellery I am a big fan of Vivienne Westwood and Mark Fast and love vintage clothes too, but really i just like whatever I like !

You’ve been compared to Amy Winehouse, is that someone you admire?
She’s incredible. A real gem! I think us girls are often compared and it’s important to realize that just because we have boobies doesn’t mean we have the same music !

One of your tracks was remixed by Jamie from The XX, they’re doing very well at the moment having just clinched the Mercury Prize, can we expect any future collaborations?
I’d love to ! I am a huge fan. There are so many people I’d love to work with. I’m constantly discovering new music that I love.

You’ve supported Alphabeat and Jamie Cullum and you are about to tour with Paloma Faith, what’s it like opening for such established acts?

It’s hard work cos the crowd hasn’t come to see you. You have to win them over but it’s really good if you do! Then it counts even more.

Pack Up is one of those catchy tunes that sticks with you for days, what’s the secret to writing/performing such a song?
I’m not sure, they just come up like puke ! I really don’t know, just love writing and working on good melodies and lyrics.

There’s a whole wave of young British female singers coming through the ranks at the moment (and they’re not all from X-Factor) why do you think that is?

I think lots of girls are realizing that it doesn’t have to be a male dominated industry. There have been plenty of female artists before. There were a string of them in the 60s Aretha Franklin, Carole King, Dusty Springfield, Joni Mitchell I could go on so maybe it comes in cycles. But I hope it stays.

To hear more from Ms Doolittle check out the October West and Wales mag!