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18/07/2006
Face the music by: Caroline Westbrook
FILED UNDER DAILY JEWS >> Music
Francesca Berlin pic: Garry Castle
Francesca Berlin

When you're a relative of legendary singer-songwriter Irving Berlin, no matter how distantly, you've got a lot to live up to if you're planning a career in music.

Francesca Berlin, a 17-year-old schoolgirl from Ilford, Essex, is hoping to make her mark with her debut single Colours Faded, which is released on August 7.

Her famous family member who was her grandfather Hyman's second cousin has of course been influential. "It's cool having such a well-known musical talent in the family," Francesca told us, "I did a musical show recently and one of the songs I sang was There's No Business Like Showbusiness, then I realised a distant relation to me who was born in the 1880s wrote that. I can remember my father telling me that I was related to Irving Berlin when I was five. It is interesting to think that he was the most famous songwriter of the 20 th Century."

Like Irving who also penned the likes of Cheek To Cheek, White Christmas, Putting On The Ritz and Let's Face The Music and Dance Francesca writes her own songs, and Colours Faded is inspired by the late US chart-topper Eva Cassidy (best known for her version of Somewhere Over The Rainbow), who she also cites as a huge influence. A pupil at King Solomon High School in Barkingside, Francesca is quick to admit that her Jewish roots play a major part in her life.

"My family is the most important thing to me and they have been just fantastic in supporting my musical career," she says ."And I've really enjoyed attending King Solomon High School. It has helped me appreciate Jewish culture."

However, it's not just music that Francesca's good at she also plays a mean game of chess. So much so, in fact, that she was British Girls Under 12 Champion in 2000 although she quit her promising chess career in favour of a musical one. Let's hope it turns out to be a good move.

For more information: www.francescaberlin.co.uk

 
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