Keeping faith – singer songwriter overcomes career setback

AS a singer songwriter on the verge of launching her career, Beth Keeping hit the buffers.

A bout of RSI (repetitive strain injury) left her in constant pain for four months and unable to play guitar for nearly a year.

Many others would have given up on their dream, but the affliction just made the Woking-born girl more determined. Now she’s about to release her first single, No Hard Feelings with a London gig and is looking forward to a bright future.

“I think it was from constant use of my laptop combined with constant guitar-playing,” says Beth recalling last year’s troubles. “It was awful, I was in constant pain and couldn’t play at all, which was really tough. “My confidence took a big hit, but I carried on songwriting, often writing with other people, sometimes for other people to perform and I even started getting songs taken on by publishers.

“I changed the way I write and now I want to write things that are real and inspiring rather than just writing for the market, trying to write what I think people want to hear. I want to inspire and uplift people.”

Beth describes No Hard Feelings as “a pop song but with R&B influences”, adding: “I wrote it on acoustic guitar so it has that singer songwriter vibe. When I was younger I loved Deltra Goodrem, who had hits like Born To Try and Lost Without You. She’s probably been my main influence, especially early on. “I’m working towards my debut album, I’ve got loads of songs ready, although my style has changed in the past few months.”

Key to releasing her burgeoning talent has been working with top songwriters. “Last year I honed my skills and developed my craft by going on a retreat to Spain and working with Pam Sheyne, who wrote Genie In A Bottlefor Christine Aguilera, and Bill Padley, who wrote for Atomic Kitten and won an Ivor Novello Award for That’s My Goal, which was a hit for X Factor’sShayne Ward.

“It was amazing to be in southern Spain working with people like that.” Beth, who grew up in Knaphill, says she’s hoping her single will gain enough attention to allow her to record an album in the near future. A former pupil of Knaphill Junior School and Winston Churchill School, she traces her need to perform back to her school days.

“That’s when I started writing songs,” she says. “My first time on stage was at the final assembly at Winston Churchill where we sang a leavers’ song – that gave me a taste for it.”

Back then, she was known by her real name, Beth Collingridge, but she says: “I changed it because no-one could ever spell it, and Keeping is my grandmother’s maiden name, so I’ve kept it in the family.”

Having studied French and Spanish at university, Beth is moving back to Woking in a few weeks and will start regular gigs around Surrey.

The launch gig for No Hard Feelings is at the Slaughtered Lamb in London tomorrow night (Friday 15 July) and the song will be available to download on iTunes or stream via Spotify. More details at www.bethkeeping.com.

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