Spotlight On: Duffy
Although Duffy's debut album 'Rockferry' was tipped as the most hotly anticipated release of the 2008, the speed of the impact she has made was one few could predict.
With her first single 'Mercy' charting straight in at the top of the saturated Brit charts before a physical CD was even available in store, Duffy has since gone on to sell over 5.5 million copies for her gold status album 'Rockferry', worldwide. She also reached number 1 in over 11 markets worldwide - an achievement never before seen from a British female solo artist.
And now, the Queen of soulful jazzy melodies and sultry beats is finally here to grace stages down under and sweet talk us rough neck Aussies with her seductive voice and funky musical blues.
If you still haven't yet heard the sweet sounds of the soul-star, chances are you've heard her name bandied about plenty. She took out the 2009 Brit Awards (Best British Female Solo Artist, British Breakthrough Act and the Best British Album), she's nabbed a Grammy (Best Pop Vocal Album), been featured in almost every festival bill across the country and is a nominee at this years MTV Australian Music Awards.
Duffy spent her childhood years in the north Wales coastal community of Nefyn, a place too remote to be driven by genre wars or opposing music splinters (the nearest record counter was a bus ride away and only stocked the Top 40). Beginning her musical career at the tender age of ten, Duffy plundered her father's VHS tapes of the '60s TV show 'Ready, Steady, Go!'. It had The Beatles, the Stones, the Walker Brothers and Sandie Shawbegan. Inspired, Duffy began to write her own scratchy blues songs.
Says former Suede guitarist and record producer Bernard Butler, "Duffy managed to grow up without any concept of what was cool or current, what she should or shouldn't like, how to behave or even how to sing. For her, coming to London at all was the stuff of fairytales."
"And to come here to write songs with some random bloke who'd been recommended to her meant taking two buses and then two trains and took all day. Then she'd do the same in reverse to get home, playing the music she'd just made to old ladies she encountered on the journey. It's hard for cynical music industry types to get their heads around just how far removed she was from our world, geographically and in every other way. But what you've got as a result is someone who acts and sings completely and unselfconsciously from the heart. That's a rare and magical thing."
The days of long trips on flailing public transport are all over for the ex-waitress. She's now a global chart topper, has companies such as Diet Coke scrabbling for her to face their campaigns and is, without doubt, is the biggest international breakthrough act of 2009.
Hers is a voice that can get a party started, and indeed already has! Duffy will be headlining her own shows in Oz later this month. Make sure you hit up the Vodafone MTV Australia Awards website to vote for Duffy.