A rising singing star who played one of her earliest gigs at the Stroud Fringe Festival at the age of just 16, is the voice behind the soundtrack to this year’s John Lewis Christmas advert.
Lola Young, 20, joins previous music superstars including Ellie Goulding, Lily Allen and Tom Odell in contributing to the retailer’s annual festive campaign.
Her cover of Together In Electric Dreams, originally released by Philip Oakey and Giorgio Moroder in 1984, accompanies Unexpected Guest – a two-minute tale of a young alien experiencing their first Christmas on Earth, complete with mince pies and novelty jumpers.
Lola appeared at Stroud Fringe in 2017 when organisers Lotte Lyster, from The Prince Albert, and Julie Howe booked her to perform.
Lotte and Julie were completely bowled over when the then-teenager performed in Bank Gardens. Lotte recalled: “When we booked Lola to play at Stroud Fringe in 2017, it was due to her application, it really stood out from the many artists that had applied. Her voice was absolutely outstanding, then as a 16-year-old, and when she performed in Bank Gardens on the Sunday, she really was a standout performer.
“We are so delighted to have seen her progress and we were so excited to watch her on Jools Holland at the weekend. To hear that she is the voice behind the John Lewis advert is just utterly brilliant. Another person with a link to Stroud for this annual Christmas treat.”
Young started writing songs aged 11 and by 13 had competed in and won a national open mic competition, and cites Joni Mitchell and Prince as early influences.
She enrolled at the arts-focused Brit School in Croydon, south London, which counts Adele, Amy Winehouse, Raye and Loyle Carner among its star-studded former students.
After gigging around London, she secured a record deal with Island Records, owned by Universal Music Group and the home to Ariana Grande, Jessie J and Nicki Minaj.
Her catalogue so far includes the single Woman, her debut seven-track release titled Intro and the Renaissance EP.