SINGER Sheona McQue is hoping to follow in the footsteps of musical legends by performing on O2 Arena’s famous London stage.
After impressing industry experts, the 22-year-old, from Grangetown, Sunderland, has made it through to the next round of Open Mic UK, a nationwide hunt to find tomorrow’s talent.
Should she make it through the next audition, held in Newcastle on October 22, she’ll be vying for pole position at the grand final at the O2 Arena.
It means the guitarist would be able to swap pulling pints at The Sandcastle, Ryhope, for her dream job of being in the spotlight.
She said: “I went for the first audition last Saturday.
“It was a bit like X Factor and I nearly left because there was so many people there, I didn’t think I stood a chance.
“I’m so glad I stuck it out now.”
Sheona, who has a foundation degree in music from Newcastle College, impressed judges with her rendition of Jeff Buckley’s Hallelujah.
She said: “You had to go on the stage six at a time then stand forward and sing.
“Most people sang on their own, but I played the guitar too.
“I got some good feedback from the judges. They said I had a good image and had great guitar playing and tone.
“I would describe my style as general acoustic. I like artists like KT Tunstall.”
The annual national competition searches for the UK’s best singers, singer/songwriters, rappers and vocalists of all genres who perform either covers or original material.
Thousands entered the contest across the country for the chance to win the top prize of a recording contract and up to £30,000 investment in their career.
Sheona said: “It would be amazing to get to the next level and perform at the 02 Arena.
“I used to suffer from really bad nerves, but I’m getting over it now and this would be the biggest thing that has ever happened to me.”
Chris Grayston, from Open Mic UK, said: “we are searching for an act whose live performance will impress an audience, industry judges and A&R associates, and who has the potential to become a professional recording artist.
“The standard was high last year and this year looks set to be even better.”