NEW YORK — "I've never done this before," 16-year-old U.K. singer/songwriter/pianist [artist id="1188349"]Birdy[/artist] admitted upon sitting down with me at Sakura, a nail salon in the East Village.
While she may have never gotten a manicure (let alone the one we both got that day, replete with baby pink and blue chicks drawn across several of her talons — "BFFs" get matching manis, right?), there's a lot she can cross off her bucket list. Though with Birdy's (nee: Jasmine van den Bogaerde) soft-spoken and humble demeanor, it would perhaps be understood if you thought she was just a studious, naturally gorgeous teen girl. But how wrong you'd be.
Having started writing songs at the ripe age of 8, Birdy has a soft, haunting voice uniquely her own that's capable of becoming a booming, mature tone that wouldn't sound out of place alongside fellow Brit songstress Adele. Birdy covered such sophisticated tracks as Fleet Foxes' "White Winter Hymnal," the xx's "Shelter" and Bon Iver's "Skinny Love" (she credits her older brother with introducing her to such tunes) on her eponymous album, which has charted the world over. The songs' videos have garnered tens of millions of YouTube views.
The album's singular original track, "Without a Word," however, is Birdy at her most beautiful. There's good reason why she's now more excited than ever to pen and perform more of her own music.
"It was from a story my dad told me about — he's a writer — it was a story about a couple who really loved each other but one of them had to leave. There's a little bit more to the story," she grinned, "but it's kind of about that, inspired by that."
And we're pretty inspired by Birdy.