Wednesday, 24 June 2009


11 years ago, Southampton's Craig David was virtually unknown - waiting to be noticed in the music industry. Five studio albums and 14 top ten singles later, he wouldn't be able to go anywhere in the U.K without being mobbed on the street by adoring fans.

So for 18-year-old Shirin, who would love to match his success, could it be an omen that her latest single 'Insomnia' happens to have the same title as that of her Hampshire counterpart?

The Fareham R&B singer has been writing her own songs for 8 years now and is hoping to be the next singing sensation to come out of the South Coast.

But after heading BBC Radio 1Xtra's 'Introducing Homegrown' feature on Sunday, which showcases unsigned artists from this country, she feels her time is getting closer.
The signs are promising with Shirin expanding her presence from the local to the national scene by managing to get 'Insomnia' played alongside the likes of Tinchy Stryder and Kid Cudi. If her appearance on 1Xtra sparks enough interest, she will be sitting on the verge of being listened to by millions on Radio 1.

The exposure has definitely made many start to take her seriously: "The most interesting thing about being on a national station is watching people I haven't spoken to in years come out of the woodwork and start realising what's going on," she said.

Shirin has already worked with the likes of Benny Cassette who is the producer behind the Black Eyed Peas as well as KC Porter who has worked with Michael Jackson. She has also supported Wiley who reached No. 2 in the U.K with the massive floorfiller 'Wearing My Rolex' last year. "He is such a cool, relaxed guy," she revealed.

But despite being this familiar with the limelight, she will always remember where she came from if she is to make it big: "[I would] give back to my family and everyone who helped me get there and do whatever I could to help new talent be developed."

She is also certain that she wants to get there on merit, cutting no corners: "I don't want to be handed anything on a silver platter, I'm doing it the hard way, but for me it's the best way!"


Monday, 8 June 2009



Last night, UK Health Secretary Andy Burnham called it a "sad day for British politics" following the BNP's acquisiton of two seats in the European Parliament.

But are the failures - the recent "sad days" - attributed to the mainstream parties to blame for this recent shift towards centre and far-right politics in this country?

Burnham said: "It's not a good night for anybody who campaigns against racism in politics, they [the BNP] wear suits but at heart that's the kind of party they are."

The BNP had the most success around Yorkshire and the North-West of England in the European vote. Elsewhere, the results have most notably seen the worst results for Labour since World War II and encouraging signs for the UK Independence Party.

BNP leader Nick Griffin hailed his party's results as "a great victory."

Griffin also attacked the UK's governments actions over the past 50 years: "In so many ways the liberal élite have transformed this country and as they've done so, they've forced people to be quiet about it with laws which make telling the truth an offence," he said.

- The expenses scandal particularly couldn't have come at a worse time for Labour and an under-fire Gordon Brown.

Watch Griffin's speech in full...