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Coach Janet Edwards: Leona Lewis is a proper musician

Leona Lewis’s former vocal coach has said that her ex-student was a proper musician by the time she appeared on “The X Factor” in 2006. Janet Edwards worked with Lewis from 1993 to 2003 after the singer’s parents approached her to coach their daughter.

Edwards told The Guardian. “I met them and said, “Well, Leona is obviously bright and enthusiastic, but she’s only 8. She has to have fun with music first”. So I recorded some little backing tracks for her on piano and said, ‘You go off, have fun with these, and maybe I’ll see you in six months’. That’s how it all started. Eventually, I saw her each term, at my place, and our work escalated.”

She continued: “By 13, 14, it was evident she would be a professional. Whatever genre I gave her, she applied herself. She was then what she remains now: a hard worker, not a pushy little girl.

“I was aware she was going to try for The X Factor. Some parts of the industry already knew who she was. Her parents thought I’d hate the idea, but this was 2006 – the record industry was starting to suffer from the effects of the internet, so I said, ‘God, go for it’.”

Edwards added: “It was an extraordinary experience for her, but what the viewers were actually seeing was a proper musician, someone who knew how to deal with everything.

“There are a lot of people out there who think they can achieve the same thing with no work at all, but they can’t… Leona shows how good you can be with proper practice.”


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