When the tiny blond waif with the massive voice was knocked out of TV talent show ‘The X Factor’ in 2009, many felt it was a terrible waste. When she then went on to star in Summer 2010 in a West End production of Little Voice, justice was restored. With her fragile looks and her amazing voice she seemed destined for the part of a shy young girl caged in by an overbearing mother. Fans felt relieved, and even the grumpy music critics had to concede that her voice, if not her acting, had owned the stage.
Next week there will be another little voice owning the stage. Like Diana Vickers, hers will be a voice which speaks out of adversity. Like the blond girl in the sparkly dress, her voice will seek to right a wrong. At that point,the similarity breaks down.
The voice belongs to Aria, a thirteen year-old girl in the village of Rutana, Burundi. Each day next week, she will be describing her life in a village with no pure water sources and no sanitation. Her little voice will draw attention to one of the biggest health issues in the world. As she describes her experience each day next week, many will learn about how simple things like pure water and proper sanitation can save lives. Aria is made up, but the stories and statistics she will reveal are not. You can read her story here.
The lyrics of Vickers’ debut single Once start with the following lines:
Here we are, a careful distance
Here’s my heart, what’s left of it
In this town, I used to listen
Once, Once, Yeah
Will you listen, from a careful distance, to Aria next week?