TUNING UP: Jeshika Bassett practising on her new keyboard at home
TUNING UP: Jeshika Bassett practising on her new keyboard at home

ONE dale youngster hasn’t even taken her GCSE options at school yet, but she knows what she wants to be. In fact she has known since she was six years old she wanted to be a singer.

And Jeshika Bassett, despite only turning 13 on Monday, September 3, is already working on her second single, which she hopes will be available for download in late November.

Jeshika, who lives at Mayfield, in Barnard Castle, said: “When I was six I said to my mum I wanted to be a singer.

“She was brutally honest with me at the time and said I couldn’t sing. I made it my mission to teach myself how to sing.

“I thought well if my older sister can sing, why can’t I.”

And since then she has not only taught herself to sing, but she has learned how to play the piano, guitar and ukulele.

She has also been performing at a variety of open mic nights across Teesdale and in Darlington and has even begun busking.

Sounding much older than her tender years, Jeshika said she was shy when she first started performing on stage and found it difficult to hide her nerves.

She said: “I would start off with my hand across my stomach and then before long I was twisting my arms around in weird positions.”

To overcome her nerves and build confidence she attended drama lessons every Sunday at the Pauline Quirke Academy, which is based in Darlington. However, shyness wasn’t a problem for her last year when she got to the final of a singing competition based on the hit television show X-Factor.

Northallerton Heating

For 12 weeks Jeshika, cheered on by her family, travelled to Essex to take part in the talent show, Factor Essex, where the top prize was a recording contract.

Each week Jeshika found herself with enough points to go through to the next round and although she didn’t win she says the experience performing in front of large audiences was invaluable.

It was through the talent show Jeshika made contact with the London-based recording studio, Charthouse Music, which also works with well-known singer Pixie Lott.

As well as providing vocal coaching, the studio has helped Jeshika develop her ‘sound’.

Jeshika released her first single, Ego, under her stage name Jeshika Jaynes, earlier this year as a test piece and has had positive feedback since it was available for download.

She said: “I might not have sold many copies but it was more of a goal to see if I could do it.”

She is hoping to have her new single, which has the working title, Feel Love, available for download on iTunes, Spotify and Amazon in November.

She spent some of her school summer holidays at the recording studio in London and although much of the track was laid down, she is unhappy with the chorus and says she needs to “go back and do some more work to get it right”.

However, as word is getting out about her singing talents gig offers have started to come in.

She will be on stage in Darlington at the RA Club on Brinkburn Road on Saturday, September 15. In the meantime if anyone wishes to check out Jeshika’s talent they can tune in to her YouTube channel by searching Jeshika Jaynes.