You can take the girl out of Sheffield – but if that girl is Lucy Spraggan, she can’t stop singing about her adopted home.
The 23-year-old, pictured, who now lives in London, has written a new song about what she misses most.
It includes the smell of the countryside, drinking cider in the park, taxi fares and prices at the bar.
London Bound will feature on her forthcoming third studio album – and she is promising a tour to promote it.
However, before then Lucy, who used to live in Stannington, will return for a special ‘homecoming’, to front this year’s Young Voices concerts, when about 7,000 children get to sing with her every night over five dates at Sheffield’s Motorpoint Arena in Attercliffe.
She will be leading choirs of children and their music teachers from primary schools in Sheffield, London, Manchester and Birmingham – and more than 110,000 children all over the UK will take part.
Children will get to perform all styles of music including folk, pop, rock and classical, after practising in their music lessons for many months before coming together for the shows.
Lucy, who shot to fame on TV talent show The X Factor in 2012, is following in the footsteps of some big names in hosting the concerts, including Katherine Jenkins, Alexandra Burke, Beverley Knight, Joss Stone and Stacey Solomon.
She says: “I got involved with Young Voices about a year ago. I started doing work with Macmillan Cancer Support and raising money for children. I was asked to be a guest act at a show at the Royal Albert Hall in London last Christmas.
“It was amazing. I sung with about 6,000 children there and they asked me to come back and do this tour.
“Basically it’s giving schoolchildren the opportunity to be the stars of the show.
“We will be doing two of my songs and one other, then some separate songs they do with the in-house band.
“It’s amazing to be involved. It’s cool to be recognised as someone who can help younger musicians.
“If a child wants to be a pop star, a musician or an actor, or something like that in the creative arts, this is a great opportunity to get started, perhaps to inspire and drive them even more.
“I played my first show when I was 12 and I knew that’s what I wanted to do.”
Lucy went on to be the first contestant in the history of The X Factor to score a top 40 single and album before the live shows even aired, with her independently-released album Top Room At The Zoo, including hit single Last Night.
She has since had a top 10 album, Join The Club, and been in the studio recording her new album preceded by the single We Are Unsinkable, due for release later this year.
She will be performing tracks from the album while on tour with Young Voices.
However, she may still have her left leg in plaster – she has just broken her ankle, walking on an uneven patio on a Christmas trip to New Orleans in the USA.
Lucy says: “I live in South-West London now. I was born in Canterbury, Kent, and moved to Derbyshire when I was 10, then to Sheffield when I was 18. I still spend a lot of time up north. There’s a song I’ve written for the new album called London bound. It says. ‘I miss the smell of countryside and drinking cider in the park. I miss the air and taxi fares, I miss the prices at the bars.’ That’s about missing everything up north.”
n Young Voices will be at Sheffield’s Motorpoint Arena from Monday to Friday, January 19 to 23. For tickets, priced £23.65, buy in person, call 0114 256 5656 or visit www.motorpointarenasheffield.co.uk.