Shropshire Star

Telford singer-songwriter, 18, could perform at Glastonbury after making it to the finals in festival competition

Telford singer-songwriter Kid12 has been selected as one of eight finalists in the Glastonbury Festival's Emerging Talent Competition.


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Despite only performing under the name Kid12 since January, 18-year-old Arya Van Wyk, from Telford, has been selected from hundreds of entries to reach the final eight of the Glastonbury Festival's Emerging Talent Competition.

If successful, Arya will be given a slot on one of the main stages at this year’s festival.

The winner of the competition will also be awarded a £5,000 prize, while two runners-up will also each be awarded £2,500.

Arya, who took her GCSEs at Telford's Holy Trinity Academy and is now studying at The Academy of Contemporary Music in Birmingham, said the news still hadn't yet sunk in.

Her submission for the competition, an original song called 'Dreams', was still in production - and she rushed to finish it in time for the deadline. A few weeks later, she was told she had been longlisted.

She explained: "At the end of March I saw an email come through saying I was in the top 90 - and that was really cool. Even if it had just stopped there I would have been so grateful.

"I expected the shortlist on Easter weekend, Monday came and no email, Tuesday came and no email.

"Every day you're checking your email, refresh, refresh, by Wednesday I had no email so I thought that was fine, I hadn't been chosen.

"But on Thursday I got this phone call and I'd made it. It was really unexpected. It's just been crazy from there."

Arya, who was born and raised in South Africa, said she threw herself into music during the pandemic, as a way of dealing with the isolation which was exacerbated by her then-recent move to the UK.

She explained: "There's big culture difference that hit me quite hard. We moved in 2018, and lockdown was 2020, so it really sunk in then.

"I've always liked writing about characters and creating stories for them, that's my inspiration.

"I used music as a way to write about what I was feeling, and that's where I invented this character of Kid12 - I was 12 when I moved to the UK."

Two of Kid12's singles, including the competition submission 'Dreams', are available to stream in most places online, including Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube.