Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland, is considered to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world and is the second most toured cities in all of the UK. It has a rich history of theatre and the arts. Adding to this history is an 11 year old girl by the name of Saskia Eng. Born in July of 2001 she is the second youngest of six children. Unlike many other young artists Saskia doesn’t have a history of music in the family being that she is the only one having the desire to sing. Before starting school at around five years of age Saskia was very shy. Attending school started bringing her out of her shell and opening her up, but at seven she was diagnosed with ADHD. Not wanting to stunt her lively personality it was decided not to put her on any medication. At nine Saskia was to sing for her first talent show at a children’s center. She chose Don’t Stop Believing and to the surprise of her family she won the contest. The shows DJ was so impressed with her he suggested to her parents that they should consider professional voice lessons. And thus the story begins. Saskia began lessons and fell in love with music. Her parents even heard her singing Valerie in her sleep one night.
Talk about jumping in with both feet Saskia’s first public appearance was to a crowd of 3,000. She auditioned in front of Amanda Holden, Michael McIntyre and David Hasselhoff for Britain’s Got Talent in 2011. Although she didn’t make it to the semifinals she was in the final 200 singing Hey Soul Sister and receiving a standing ovation. David told her to come back in a couple years and that he thought she was destined to be a massive star one day. I tend do agree with him.
Saskias next performance was singing Price Tag in the finals of Britain’s Got Variety held in Aldershot, England. She was still nervous performing and although she didn’t win it was an opportunity to build more confidence.
In the summer of 2011 she applied to do some busking during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival which is the world’s largest arts festival. She performed ten 30 minute slots and was so well received that there were crowds waiting for her performances. She took in an average of £ 100. ($130) an hour. Saskia made the headlines of many newspapers and was filmed by the STV news.
At 10 Saskia auditioned for open mic UK and won a place at the finals in Manchester. She was the youngest Scottish finalist and sang a rendition of Bruno Mars Talking To The Moon. After this she sent a clip to Real Radio Competition where she won £ 300. She also sang with Voice in a Million at the Edinburgh Playhouse.
Keeping in mind that Saskia was at one time a shy little girl her next big performance was in front of 12,000 people at the Tynecastle Stadium when the Heart of Midlothians won the Scottish Cup. After this she went on to win the Scottish Final of Festival4Stars UK.
Saskia performed at the National Final in Runcorn, England and although not winning this one she was the only one to get a standing ovation from the audience as well as the judges.
In between all this Saskia sings at charity events supporting some of the UKs top tribute acts, busking and recording her own original songs of which she has two available on iTunes. You’re Not Really Gone and I’m Strong. Saskia also has a song on the CD Sandy Hook Vol.2 compilation. She is the only child and only artist from the UK on the CD.
After two auditions Saskia was accepted into the City of Edinburgh Music School at Broughton High where she will begin this coming August. Besides singing she is also playing the piano.
Saskia is already well known around Edinburgh with people recognizing her and stopping her for pictures and autographs. Her inspirations in music are Train, U2, Adele, Amy Winehouse, Emeli Sande and Boyce Avenue. Besides her music she is a typical 11 year old doing what 11 year olds do running around the garden and playing with friends. Mom, dad and her grandpa claim to be her biggest fans but I think they’ll have some competition as the world sees and hears her perform.
Story by : Richard Fultz a stars2come contributor