Fuelled by a love of bands like Foo Fighters and Red Hot Chili Peppers and inspired by their songwriting, hidden away in her parents’ shed she taught herself to play instruments by ear and penned her own songs where nobody else could hear her sing. “I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember, as long as my mum remembers,” Janet says. “My gran recalls me writing songs when I was five. If there was a musical instrument around I would want to play it, but I am ‘sound shy’ so I’d go to the shed where there was a big pool table as I didn’t want my parents to hear what I was doing.”
Desperate to learn to play the drums, when her parents refused her the money to buy her own kit she resolutely entered local singing competitions to win cash prizes and pay for her drums with the proceeds. Her musicality and determination flourished and as a consequence, the songs she posted to her YouTube channel gained an unexpected but welcome fan base who were ready to support her in the next stage of her music career.
Janet received the highest consecutive public vote out of all the 2011 contestants
In 2011, she caught the public’s attention on Series 8 of The X Factor, where she consistently received the highest consecutive public vote out of all the contestants.
Running With Scissors
Now back stronger than ever, her album Running With Scissors was released in June this year. This 10-track debut is full of folk-driven pop songs and heart-touching ballads, which perfectly showcase her unique and enchanting vocals. The tracks are mostly authored by Janet and were recorded up in a staggering 6 weeks; but hidden around the corner you’ll find featured co-writes with Newton Faulkner (“Creatures Of The Night” and “Hide And Seek”) and Jack Savoretti (“Delicate”) nestled alongside a surprising and sensitive cover of The Cure’s “Friday I’m In Love”. Janet’s other influences include Imogen Heap, Turin Brakes, Adele, Mumford & Sons, Avril Lavigne, Regina Spektor and Florence & The Machine. As a result her album is full of rolling percussion, lush harmonies, string sections and acoustic guitars. There’s even a hint of Jack Johnson thrown in there on the track “Lifeboat”. At just 19 years of age, it’s a soulful, passionate album about growing up, becoming independent and dealing with a whole new range of emotions.
Her up coming ‘My Delirium’ tour promises to be an intimate journey through the last 18 months with new album tracks sitting comfortably between firm favourites.
Janet’s a big fan of cartoons (she’s obsessed with ‘Adventure Time’), gaming, Netflix, poetry and horse riding. Her quirky yet shy nature has won her a huge online following of fans that call themselves The Devlinators.
Download: Janet Devlin