Welcome to our modern fairy story.
It was a hot day in early August, everyone’s windows were wide open and Helen Meissner was photographing butterflies on the beautiful self set buddleia plant on her drive. Suddenly she was aware of an earnest young voice floating on the light breeze! She had no idea who it was. Someone was singing their heart out to Olivia Rodrigo’s album Sour. No one was visible. Helen tried to find out where the sound was coming from. All the time feeling a bit of a stalker! But this voice, well, she couldn’t leave it.
First radio play and interview: thanks to Leigh Chambers on Cambridge 105 for inviting Helen Meissner into her studio and for playing the release. 11.30am, Monday 6th December.
The story continued!…
So on asking the neighbours across the road (as it was definitely coming from that direction!) she discovered that one of her neighbours’ sons was a keen singer and it was most likely him. So she said if he’d ever like to come and record himself singing in her studio, the door was always open. Little did she know he was only 8 years old!
A few weeks later there was a knock at the door and Frankie had been badgering his dad to come and knock. Finally dad Ben plucked up the courage to see if I had meant what I said. And the rest is …
Helen has a reputation for being a ‘Mrs Fix it’ for aspiring singers and songwriters, being responsible for the Radio 6 Music spins and success for her then 15 year old child’s band (Charlie Deakin Davies in The Folk), national media coverage for her single with Jackie Weaver and Radio 2 play for her husband Joe Rose, the early career of Stevenage singer Kelly Oliver and London based artist Zoe Wren. Among many, many others via her label Folkstock Records.
However, Helen only started creating music herself the year before, at the grand age of 54, as Helefonix! Initially self producing and learning as she went, Radio 3 and 6 Music broadcast her music and then she collaborated on a single which attracted multiple national BBC and ITV appearances, broadsheet press and national BBC radio coverage with THE Jackie Weaver earlier this year and poet/BBC broadcaster Ian McMillan in the summer.
Helen could see the potential in Frankie and was excited to work with him and see what he was capable of in the studio. So many unknowns, would he even turn up for the first session!? But then dead on the dot of four, there was a knock on the door and there he was. And he’s gratifyingly reliable too. Helen can set her clock by him!
Helen has long been regarded as the maker of dreams and Frankie’s dream is to have an album on streaming platforms. Looks like Helen was in the right place at the right time. Got to love a bit of serendipity! This release of Jingle Bell Rock is the first step in that direction!
Fast forward a few weeks of working together and Helen and Frankie have made one of his own lyrical ideas into a track, which is in development and also recorded this endearing rendition of Jingle Bell Rock. We hope you like it!
Frankie is fortunate in that his parents support his performance ambitions. He has singing lessons every week and is part of a drama group. So he is no stranger to performing live, is completely fearless and confident, as well as being unusually articulate for a child of his age.
Here’s a link to the track on soundcloud
Here’s a link to the track on bandcamp that can be downloaded