dpm is a Birmingham-based freelancer with experience of arts and lifestyle features.
Party Nights with live music, DJ and dinner
Coventry singer Letitia George will be performing at a series of Christmas party nights in Solihull this November and December. The 31-year-old, who shot to fame as a competitor on television talent show The Voice is promising a party night to remember.
Taking place at Solihull Moors Football Club, the nights also feature a three-course dinner and party DJ. Organised by 4th Revolution Marketing, they launch on November 18 and then run Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings until December 23, with an additional New Year's Eve Party Night.
Letitia says: "It's going to be such a good fun evening. I'm going to do a few Christmas tunes, it wouldn't be a Christmas show if I didn't, so expect the old Mariah Carey classic. When I did Christmas shows before the pandemic I would always sing that because everyone loves it and they all sing along and get up on the dance floor. People are just happy to hear the songs they know and I think this Christmas, after the year we've had, everyone is just going to go wild this party season. I'll also do a bit of soul, Motown, disco classics, nineties clubs classics – the tunes I grew up with."
Letitia is grateful for the exposure she gained in The Voice in 2015 where, as a member of Team Ricky and performing Sam Smith's 'Stay With Me' and the classic 'Twist and Shout', she reached the knock-out rounds. "It was a really good experience," she says. "I enjoyed myself and made some really good friends and because of going on The Voice I was able to kickstart a music career."
And yet, Letitia admits she hadn't planned on appearing on a TV talent show. "I didn't apply for The Voice, I was scouted," she says. "I used to go to a lot of open mic nights to support friends and, if not enough people turned up, I'd also sing. One day I went to this open mic, sang and then someone approached me and said 'We'd love it if you'd come and audition for The Voice'. I didn't think it was my kind of thing but my parents said I should give it a go."
It's been a busy time since then. She's toured the UK with her show Respect to Aretha, dedicated to soul legend Aretha Franklin, and also performed in the tour of Respect - The Aretha Franklin Songbook. This autumn she releases her first single 'Please Let Me Down Easy.' Letitia has also carved out a radio career, fronting programmes on a host of BBC stations including CWR, WM, Stoke and Shropshire and is one of the voices of BBC Radio 5 Live's podcast The Sista Collective.
Earlier this year she was one of just two presenters chosen to launch a temporary local BBC station in Wolverhampton which aimed to raise morale in the city during the latest lockdown.
Letitia has loved singing ever since her first starring role – in a primary school production. "In my first gig I was Angel Gabriel in the Christmas Nativity at St Anne's School in Coventry. I was so nervous. It was the first time I had ever publicly performed and, even though it was only my friends' parents, I was so scared I couldn't move. The teacher was like 'go, go' and she poked me in the back and I went flying and nearly fell off the front of the stage. I think that got a bigger round of applause than the song!"
Lockdown hasn't been easy. "When the pandemic hit I suddenly had no gigs – I lost 12 months of work in 24 hours. I'm very lucky to have the radio job as it meant I could still work during the pandemic but I really struggled with the first lockdown. I just stayed in my room all the time, only leaving if I had to go to work or to the shop. My mental health went really downhill. Then in the third lockdown this January I said 'enough is enough, I can't keep feeling this way' so I started walking and then doing some hiking."
Letitia decided to set herself a goal – she would climb Mount Snowdon in Wales on her 31st birthday. In July, Letitia celebrated her birthday on the peak of Snowdon – and although she's continuing to set her sights high, she's also determined to keep her feet on the ground. "I've never been a person who wants to be famous and I'm not a celebrity, I just went on a bit of TV," she says. "It was a great experience, I enjoyed it and I'm grateful for it as it helped me get to where I am now. But not for a second do I think I'm special – I'm just very lucky that I can do something I love. Being on The Voice really helped when I was first performing because people knew who I was, but you also have to work hard. I really went for it and here I am six years later singing and doing radio for a living and loving it."