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day she learned she was expecting her first baby. “I was so shocked at the record deal that I walked out of the office to meet my mum in the nearby coffee shop, crossed the road and nearly got hit by a car!’’


However, after releasing Porcelain in


2007, Helen became disillusioned by the label’s attempts to pigeon-hole her into a classical category and left Warner to set up her own independent label. In 2008 she was approached by a major American radio station and did her first USA concert. Her fan base has exploded, and her career has gone from strength to strength.


HELEN JANE LONG H


idden amongst the beautiful rolling Surrey


Long. You may not know her by name, but you have definitely heard her music. With six award winning albums already under her belt and a seventh album soon to be released, she is certainly doing something right.


Record labels turn to online statistics to see how their artists are performing. Ironically, it is a British independent artist, who in early 2018 became the first ever BILLION streaming pianist and composer in the world. Put into context, this is hundreds of millions more streams in the US than artists signed to major labels including Madonna, Rita Ora, Andrea Bocelli, Years and Years, Jools Holland and Kylie Minogue (based on current US streaming stats up to March 2019).


Her kaleidoscopic talent is a wonder to behold.


Shift the lens in one direction


and you see the remarkably gifted multi- instrumentalist, turn it again and you find the highly accomplished composer, arranger, recording artist and entrepreneur.


Born in Hampshire, her classical piano training began at age five, cello at age eight and by eleven she won a music scholarship. Helen


was soon composing and multi-


tracking instruments in her parents back room trying to create her own backing orchestra. She played in school productions


Hills and the picturesque Hampshire countryside is Helen Jane


production


In 2011, British Airways hired her to compose for its extended cinematic commercial To Fly. To Serve, which was the centrepiece of its biggest and most expensive brand campaign in a decade. The Aviators generated so much international interest that her albums soared to the top of American Billboard. Her signature sound is epic, cinematic and emotional. It inspires, it captivates and warms the soul. It is of no surprise that Helen’s first music video When Angels Rise, won “Best Inspirational Film” in the New York Film Awards and Global Film Awards in Los Angeles.


and toured the US and UK in the County Youth Orchestra. After college Helen studied music at Bristol University but became increasingly frustrated at the limitations put upon her by old-world lecturers claiming, “tunes are boring, go study Schoenberg for inspiration”. Instead, she spent her student loan on music equipment and started shaping her own future.


Helen did her thesis on music copyright law; she wanted to understand every area of the industry. After graduating, she approached the BBC for unpaid work, spending her time in


studios and editing suites


learning and becoming inspired to compose to picture. Even with a wheelbarrow overflowing with “No, thank you!” rejection letters, she did not give up. Her absolute determination and perseverance paid off and in 2003 Helen was working alongside Howard Shore and Peter Jackson as part of the music team on The Lord of the Rings Trilogy! “Working on these cool films, I don’t think any sane person would say tunes are boring!” said Ms Long.


Helen soon discovered a love for creating full length pieces and in 2006 tested them on the newly launched online platform Myspace. Her music so well received, the feedback so overwhelmingly positive, that she submitted a few of her pieces to Warner Music and within three days – yes, three days – they offered her a record deal; on the very same


Albums Perspective - Identity - Intervention - Embers - Live at St James’s - Porcelain


Helen has written extensively for TV and film including BBC’s Ricky Gervais’ Life’s Too Short, Top Gear, War documentaries, Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall, as well as Disney, Sky, Discovery, Netflix, Channel 4, National Geographic, MTV and many more. While her professional endeavours have earned her a reputation as a prolific composer and artist, another shift of the lens reveals a homebody who is deeply devoted to her family who travel the world with her. Enormously talented, extraordinarily kind and exceptionally engaged in the processes of composing and performing, it’s obvious that no matter which lens you view Helen Jane Long through, certain things remain crystal clear. Her lifelong devotion to her music, development of her craft, and dedication to her process have spawned the music that enhances and illuminates the world around her.


Ahead of her US tour, Helen Jane Long will


be performing a selection of her


most popular pieces this summer with the London String Players, on Saturday 6 July, 7:30pm at the Holy Trinity Church, High Street, Guildford. There will be an opportunity to meet and greet. Tickets available at www.helenjanelong.com


Listen out in the coming months for the interview on BBC Radio Sussex and BBC Surrey with Amanny Mo on Friday Night Live and Local at 7pm. Check out the website for news, releases and concerts www.helenjanelong.com


LIVE IN CONCERT


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