FORGET pop sensation Justin Bieber, Leavenheath has its very own aspiring musician who appears destined to top the charts.
Singer songwriter Rhys Butterworth-Bowman, from The Green, has achieved more in the short time he has been taking music seriously than many do in three decades of work.
This year alone, the 12-year-old schoolboy has been named overall winner of the Bures Music Festival, had his own song Dreamland played on BBC Radio Suffolk and recently won through to the regional finals of Open Mic UK – a national competition which looks to unearth musical talent.
“It all started when I was seven and I got a guitar,” said Rhys, who goes to Stoke-by-Nayland Middle School.
“I wanted to learn how to play, I gave it a whirl and I loved it. Even then I wanted to make a career out of music.”
Singing lessons followed and now the youngster is constantly gigging and creating his own songs.
He regularly performs at the Three Bells Pub in Bures and believes this has helped him progress in the singing contest, which will see him travelling to London, seeking a place at the grand final, on October 7.
“Even though I am one of the youngest, and most people in my group are 16, the auditions were fantastic,” said Rhys, who lives with his mum Lisa, dad Ellis and 16-year-old sister Georgina.
“I love performing live and really enjoy the feedback you get from the crowd.
“I am looking forward to the finals next month and, although it would be a great achievement to get through, I am just enjoying another chance to perform.”
Rhys’ mum, Lisa, said she was unable to pinpoint where her son’s musical ability came from.
“None of the family is musical,” she said.