A FORMER Woking schoolgirl wowed the crowd at the O2 Arena in London on Saturday in the final of Live & Unsigned 2012.
Re’Styla – whose real name is Rhea Melia – won the chance to perform at the London venue after making her way through the heats in the south and taking a top prize with her song Restless.
“I wasn’t nervous going out in front of thousands of people – just excited really,” says the 22-year-old. “I didn’t think I’d
get anywhere when I entered the competition but it has all worked out really well.
“I’ve been rapping since I was 15 when I went to a music workshop.
“I had always written lyrics and they persuaded me to perform them, and I loved it.”
Re’Styla reached the Live & Unsigned final following an audition in Brighton, a regional heat in Hove and then an area final in Portsmouth, where her composition Restless was selected as Best Original Song.
She spent three years studying music production in Brighton and has already performed across the south, including making an appearance at the famous Gay Pride event in Brighton.
“I just write about stuff I’ve been through, things that people can relate to, like love and heartache,” says Re’Styla. “I think my songs are a bit different, a bit random.”
Although she was a winner in the pop/urban section of Live & Unsigned, she says: “I listen to all kinds of stuff.”
She is now hoping to become as famous as several other pupils from her old school, Bishop David Brown – formerly Sheerwater School – where legendary Woking trio The Jam formed.
“I grew up listening to that sort of music as my dad was a fan,” says Re’Styla, who lived in the Maybury area of Woking – where Jam frontman Paul Weller also spent his formative years.
And there is a link…“Paul Weller’s mum is a friend of my nan’s and my mum used to do his ironing!”