Imagine this scenario: a teenage girl and aspiring singer gets called upon to perform with one of the greatest musical legends of our time. Surreal, yes, and so picturesque it sounds as though it comes straight from a dream or has the makings of an upcoming film.
But for 13-year-old Tallia Storm, the vivacious schoolgirl from Scotland whose powerhouse voice has caught the attention of Sir Elton John himself, fantasy has become reality.
“He phoned me up and told me he loved my music,” the R&B/Jazz songstress recalls. “He said that I had brilliant soul, which was uncommonly seen in a 13-year-old — and I couldn’t believe it!”
The fairytale that precipitated this jaw-dropping event, Storm says, began during a Hawaiian vacation with her grandparents. At breakfast one morning, she spotted David Furnish, Elton John’s partner, and jumped at the opportunity to showcase her talent.
“I saw him across the room and thought, OMG I have to do something,” she said. “When would I ever get the chance to be in the same room with someone like that again?”
Logically, and without the reservations often seen in children of the same age, Storm went up to her room, got some paper and an envelope, and wrote a quick note to Furnish. Inside, she also stuck a demo of her work and handed it to him over his morning tea.
“I asked him to pass it along to Elton John but I didn’t really expect anything from it, for surely people go up to him all the time with a similar request,” she says.
However, the fateful trip ended remarkably after Storm received a personal phone call from Elton John mere hours later, as she was passing through airport security in San Francisco.
“My phone rang as we were going through security, can you believe it?” she says. “When I picked up he said ‘this is Sir Elton John’ and at first I thought it was a joke,” she remembers, “But then, of course, my phone died.”
Luckily, the two got in touch again after the flight where he explained that he showed her demo to his entire band and they adored it.
Then, to Storm’s bewilderment, he asked her to sing with him at his Scotland performance this summer. She will be opening for his concert on June 10th at the Falkirk Stadium in Falkirk, Scotland.
Now, with a legend like Sir Elton John shouting her praises from the rooftops, saying, “she has the potential to be bigger than Jill Scott, Erika Badu, Joss Stone and the lot,” it’s hard to remember that Storm is still just 13.
Currently, she is juggling schoolwork along with rehearsals and performances. Despite her pending success, prodigal status and forthcoming album release, Storm has no intentions of quitting school to pursue her career.
“I am quite academic, I get straight A’s, and I would love to go to university one day,” she says, “I know I will keep grounded because it’s in my nature.”
While it seems as though Storm has a lot of her plate–too much to be considered just your average teenage girl–she has no regrets about her unconventional life.
“I certainly have less time to ‘hang out’ than most, but what I do is fun and I’m truly enjoying it. It is a wonderful experience,” Storm says, “and I’m blessed to have been given such a brilliant opportunity.”