The daughter of a writer and concert pianist and related to an iconic star, Birdy had music, lyrics and fame in her genes. Add to this, her innate talent and the time and space (and availability of a great piano) at her disposal growing up and so one of the finest artists to come out of the UK emerged. Birdy stands out from other artists thanks to her unique sound, unusual performance style and modest image.
She refuses to conform to the trends of the industry and live a high profile celeb lifestyle, instead, allowing the focus to remain on the music. Her songs are timeless and appeal to all ages, which is why they’ve appeared on major TV commercials and movie soundtracks.
How did Birdy get signed?
Birdy was discovered when she won the Open Mic UK competition in 2008 at the tender age of 12. From her initial audition, she was spotted instantly by the judges, as being a huge raw talent with a mature soulful sound that belied her years. She shone through rounds of competitive auditions and a tough regional final with 22 competitors, many older than her.
However, Birdy was victorious, landing the under 18’s title in the live final on 29 November, during which she played keyboards and sang her own song: So Be Free. After winning the competition, she was signed by Atlantic Records (the UK subsidiary of Warner Music Group).
Where did Birdy grow up?
Birdy’s childhood has often had an impact on her writing, performance style and branding and was a period of her life she describes as ‘wonderful’. She grew up in the beautiful New Forest, in an ancient mill house belonging to her maternal grandfather. Inspired by these surroundings, Birdy has said that her home and the surrounding scenery contributed to the cinematic sound in her music
Her upbringing was very bohemian and arty, in a home which may have been stunning but was crumbling. Her aunts and uncles lived in properties in the grounds, so she was able to run wild in the private 1500 acres, ride horses and swim in the lake with her cousins. With beautiful paintings on the walls and a lovely old Bechstein piano, it was like a modern-day Downton Abbey – although Birdy has commented that it wasn’t a posh existence and that life wasn’t grand, rather very freeing and expressive.
What is Birdy’s real name?
Birdy’s birth name is Jasmine Lucilla Elizabeth Jennifer van den Bogaerde. Her nickname, Birdy, was given to her by her parents. This was because as a baby, she looked like a little bird when taking food from them. The nickname came in handy as a stage name for Jasmine as she grew older. She’s the daughter of the Honourable Sophie Patricia and Rupert Oliver Benjamin van den Bogaerde, Lord Teynham, and is the great-niece of the actor Sir Dirk Bogarde (who changed the spelling of his surname for his film career).
What school did Birdy go to?
Her education took place at Durlston Court Prep School in Barton-on-Sea, followed by Priestlands School, a mixed state academy in Pennington, Hampshire. After this, she attended Brockenhurst College in the New Forest, for the sixth form – although she left before taking her A-Levels, in order to concentrate on her meteoric music career.
She wowed the Open Mic Uk judges from the off, who all agreed she had something really special. Making an impression at the audition stage of any competition is so important. Chris Grayston who first discovered the young talent said:
“When we first saw Birdy it was obvious that she had a rare talent! For someone so young she had maturity beyond her years and I’m delighted that we were able to give her help to take the first steps towards what I’m sure will be a fantastically successful career.”