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Hornchurch singer-songwriter eyes stardom

Craig Jelf releases Burnt Book on January 27. Craig Jelf releases Burnt Book on January 27.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014
2:06 PM

A teenage singer-songwriter will take his first steps towards stardom when he launches his debut single this month.

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A three-song EP will also be released in the Spring.A three-song EP will also be released in the Spring.

Craig Jelf, 18, of Hornchurch, recorded Burnt Book last year after teaming up with producer Adem Hilmi – who has worked with Florence and the Machine.

The former Emerson Park Academy pupil will release the song on iTunes and Spotify – while the video will be released in February on Vevo.

“I’ve always sung. Ever since I did little shows at primary school,” said Craig, who left the Hornchurch academy in Year 9, aged 14, to attend the Italia Conti Academy in Clapham.

He is now a student at the British Academy of New Music in east London, which has produced stars such as Rita Ora and Ed Sheeran.

“I started writing songs when I went to Italia Conti. I learnt so much there, now I stay up until 3am writing, it’s full on,” he said.

Growing up on a cocktail of David Gray, Bon Jovi and Queen, Craig now lists Jeff Buckley and Florence and the Machine amongst his influences.

He describes his own sound as a cross between the XX and Buckley.

“It’s a commercial, alternative sound with a tinge of pop,” explained Craig.

As well as singing and writing, he plays piano and guitar, and is in talks with management companies about getting signed.

“I’m hoping to get attention from the single,” he said,

“I have a three-song EP that is done and I am hoping to release that with my second single in the spring.”

Craig lives at home with parents Graham and Tracey, and says they have been “massively supportive” of his career choice, and share his excitement about the upcoming release.

“It’s been a long time coming,” he added,

“But I think it’s a good introduction to my music, and I’m pleased to have it out there.”

For more on Craig, view his website at jelfmusic.com

Burnt Book is released on January 27.

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