SHE melted our hearts in the run-up to Christmas with her beautiful version of Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s The Power Of Love, used to such memorable effect on the John Lewis festive advert, but now Gabrielle Aplin is ready to show she has plenty more to offer with her debut album. The Mail spoke to the talented 20-year-old ahead of her new UK tour.
ANYONE who watched the typically heart-warming Christmas advert for John Lewis during the last festive season, would be cold of heart not to have been moved.
The advert followed a snowman, which mysteriously disappeared from a garden, on an epic journey across river, mountain, road and city, all to buy presents for his wife.
The song that soundtracked the advert was a moving rendition of Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s power ballad The Power Of Love by newcomer Gabrielle Aplin.
Such was the power of the song in combination with the advert, that people flocked to buy the song, and the previously relative unknown Aplin was thrust into the limelight and to the top of the charts.
“It was amazing – it was so mad,” Aplin told the Mail.
“I went into Radio One and had an interview and found out that I was number one on the chart show.
“My family and friends were all really excited about it and I just couldn’t believe it.”
Each year the choice of singer for the John Lewis adverts is becoming increasingly important.
The likes of Ellie Goulding and Paloma Faith have received a major boost and a big hit through their involvement with the company.
Aplin told the Mail she was ‘delighted’ when she found out her version of the much-loved eighties classic was to be used.
She said: “They kind of just asked me and some other girls to cover it and I forgot about it really.
“Then three weeks later I heard they were using my version and I was really happy.
“I thought it would do alright as I knew the John Lewis adverts were quite a big thing as I had seen them previously but for the song to do quite so well was incredible.
“I think it was the first time a song from one of their adverts has gone to number one which is amazing.”
The timing of the success of The Power Of Love also gave Aplin the chance to fulfill a childhood ambition – to appear on Top of the Pops.
“It was like a childhood dream come true and especially to be on the Christmas Day show,” she said.
“All my family sat round the television on Christmas Day to watch Top of the Pops, like we usually would, but this time I was on it!”
A self-taught musician from the age of 15, Aplin has long been set for a career in the music industry.
At the age of 17 she set up her own label (Never Fade Records) and went on to release three EP’s and has amassed in excess of 19 million YouTube views to date.
She told the Mail though music may not be in her blood, it has developed into a major passion.
She said: “I always wanted to work in the music business in some capacity, whether in marketing or publicity or something like that, but I continued to write music and opportunities came up.
“I wouldn’t say I’m from a particularly musical family but there was always music playing growing up like Fleetwood Mac and The Carpenters which all influenced me.”
Aplin followed her success with her debut number one single, with another entry into the top five last month with the lovely Please Don’t Say You Love Me.
She said she was always confident the song would be a suitable second single.
She said: “Please Don’t Say You Love Me was originally supposed to come out in November last year but it was pushed back because of The Power Of Love, so it was always going to be a single.
“I didn’t really think about trying to follow The Power Of Love.
“It is actually the first song I’ve written that is not about me.”
Aplin’s debut album English Rain will finally be released next month and she said she is ‘proud’ of the record she is putting out.
She said: “It is all done now. It is just really exciting to finally get it out there as it has been a really long time waiting but these things are all done for a reason.
“We have re-recorded two or three songs that I have released on EP’s before but the rest are all new songs. I’m really, really proud of it.”
Aplin sets off on a 13-date UK tour prior to the album release next week, starting in Glasgow and taking in Birmingham on Thursday night.
The Bath-born singer said: “It is all really exciting at the moment. There are a few places on the tour I have never played before.
“Each time the venues get a little bit bigger which is really exciting.
“We are touring Europe as well and also Australia which is going to be incredible.
“I’m also playing a few festivals this summer which is really exciting as I am big fan of festivals.”
Gabrielle Aplin performs at Birmingham’s HMV The Temple on Thursday. See the venue for tickets.
Her debut album English Rain will be released on April 29.