If you haven’t yet dipped into Wednesday’s prime time ITV programme Little Big Shots, you might want to settle into a favourite chair, because the final episode on Wednesday 12 April will feature our very own JAGS Little Big Shot, Rachael Best-Babayeju.
ITV researchers found Rachael on YouTube, on a video singing If I Ain’t Got You by Alicia Keys. Then they watched a video she’d made with her JAGS friends. According to Rachael, it didn’t really seem to be a question of whether she was interested, it was more “We like you so you’re on the show!”
Rachael admits that it didn’t really click that it was an actual television show until she saw a clip on screen.
“It was pretty exciting. The filming took 4 days, including rehearsing in a small recording studio first. I felt comfortable with the song I’d decided to sing, Feeling Good by Nina Simone. They have a wardrobe in one room and make-up to try. I had to choose between four really nice dresses and ended up in something sparkly and strapless. I had heels. It felt like a fashion show! They gave me really big glasses to wear though I didn’t end up using them because I couldn’t see properly in them. They didn’t try to influence the way I sang, just let me do what I wanted, but they arranged the music a key higher to suit the pitch of my voice.
In the interview with Dawn she asked me what I would like to have available to eat if I were on tour, and I said “raw cabbage” – everybody laughed about that but I was actually quite serious because it’s really nice. She wanted to know what I do to prepare myself before singing so I told her about my alter ego, who’s super-confident. Like Beyonce. She’s called Sheniquo.
I’m going to release an album with the help of Charthouse. I feel really, really happy when I’m singing, even when it’s a sad song. It’s what I love to do. My family can all sing. You need to make sure you love what you do, there’s no room for doubt. I go to choir at St George’s Cathedral, Southwark so I get classical training. Being with other people who like singing means you get lots of help. I can discuss the pieces I sing with people who know them. It’s like a family and everyone understands you. I’d love to do more singing in public.”
With Rachael’s television performance coming up, there’s every chance more invitations will come her way.
Rachael performed recently with St Paul’s Choir and the Cathedral Choirs of Britain recording an album with Decca Records. JUBILATE has been released and you can sample it here: