Providing the soundtrack for a John Lewis ad has made Gabrielle Aplin a household name. She spoke to Andy Richardson.
Scratch the surface of an ‘overnight success’ and you’ll usually find an artist who’s been plugging away for years. Gabrielle Aplin, however, is precisely that.
The 21-year-old went from zero to hero when her cover version of Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s The Power of Love raced to number one on the UK singles chart in December.
The Wiltshire singer-songwriter had previously released three EPs and was slowly gaining wider recognition – but her version of Frankie’s ballad made her a household name.
“I haven’t caught my breath since then,” she says.
“But that’s fine. I don’t think about what’s happened.
“I don’t think I want to. If I looked into it too much, I’d probably get upset.”
Aplin didn’t imagine her folk-rock covers would earn her success. I didn’t start uploading those tunes to YouTube as a way of getting into the industry.
“I just thought it was cool.
“I don’t know how I knew about The Power of Love: I grew up listening to Fleetwood Mac and Jeff Buckley.
“I think it came about when I was asked by the agency working for John Lewis to cover it. It wasn’t my idea.
“I wasn’t expecting anything. This year was the first year when the song and the adverts have been a success.
“Things just took off and everything went up a level.”
Aplin is making hay while the sun shines. Her single, Please Don’t Say You Love Me, and album, English Rain, are set to pick up where Power of Love left off.
“I don’t think I’ll be releasing any more covers. I’ve got lots of work lined up.
“I’ll be touring Australia and New Zealand with Ed Sheeran and I’m touring the UK too.
“I’ve played blue for years and years and years. All of the big things that I’ve done haven’t been planned, so I’m hoping for more surprises.”
Gabrielle plays at the Birmingham HMV Instititue on March 14.