A woman from south Denbighshire has made it through the first round of the German equivalent of The Voice.
Helen Leahey, who attended Ysgol Maes Hyfryd in Cynwyd before moving away from Wales, performed Irish folk standard Danny Boy in front of the judges in The Voice of Germany, with two leaving it to the last moment to hit the buzzer and turn their chairs around.
The 29 year-old’s distinctive and unique baritone voice stunned the judges, with 33-year-old singer Mark Forster and Michi and Smudo of late 90s Hip-hop group Die Fantastischen Vier turning and Helen choosing to join the team of the latter.
Helen was born in St Asaph and grew up in Cynwyd with her German mother and Liverpudlian father, who was also a musician.
After her father died, Helen and her mother moved to the United Arab Emirates for her mother’s work before relocating to Germany.
Helen said: ” It has been an amazing experience so far. I have quite a few performances under my belt over the last few years.
”Nothing has been quite as terrifying as that moment when you step out on to that particular stage and are confronted with four chairs with their backs turned to you.
“There is such a stillness in the audience you could hear a pin drop… and then the music starts and you have to somehow get a sound out of your body. That was the biggest relief, that I could sing, despite the nerves.”
She added: “I think my unusually deep voice, particular style of singing and the fact that I have such a passion for playing Celtic music opened many doors.
“I am quite a novelty in this year’s show.”
Helen isn’t the first Denbighshire resident to appear on The Voice, with Ysgol Brynhyfryd, Ruthin teaching assistant Joe Woolford having made the semi-finals of the UK version in 2014.
See full story in the Free Press