16-year-old vocalist Imogen Spendlove is a force to be reckoned with. From auditioning for the Victorian State School Spectacular at age nine and becoming the youngest Principal Vocalist cast, to appearing on shows such as Young Talent Time, The Voice Kids and Carols By Candlelight, and developing her own cabaret show Lost In Love for the 2016 Melbourne Cabaret Festival, Spendlove’s achievements and talents are truly admirable.
Spendlove’s passion for music has always been a part of her life, since she grew up with parents who were quite musical.
“My mum used to do opera, so I feel like when I was younger it just became something that I was really passionate about and really into,” Spendlove says. “I decided to follow that to see where it led me.”
However, Spendlove’s determination to pursue her dreams was met with an obstacle - her age. She was only eight-years-old when she first met with agent Mark Gogell, who informed her to work hard to achieve what she wanted.
“I had to work even harder and get as good as I could,” she says. “I had to be as reliable as I could and really work on my craft and develop it.
“Being so young, you need that structure to get yourself to the point where you are ready to put on a show, perform and be really mature vocally. I had to go to a lot of vocal lessons and get trained.”
After successfully performing her Lost In Love show at Chapel Off Chapel, Spendlove has been invited back there to perform her own live concert for the intimate one-nighter Chapel Sessions series.
“I’m really looking forward to it,” Spendlove says. “I’ve collected and rearranged some of my favourite songs and I’m also playing some of my originals for the first time which is really exciting. I’ve got some really current work from Glass Animals and have been playing around with a bit of Betty Davis, so it’s quite a large range of songs.
“We’ve got a full band, so it sounds incredible and we’ve got the musical director from my cabaret who’s working on it as well. I’m going to be doing some of my own stuff on a vocal looper.”
Spendlove reflects on her journey in developing as a music artist throughout the years.
“I feel like I’ve had to really think about what I wanted to create and what I wanted to bring to the music industry,” she says. “When you’re very young, you don’t have those wide range of ideas that you can build on, so I feel it’s been quite a long journey to figure out if I want to go into musical theatre or if I wanted to go into the pop industry or if I wanted to do something completely different.
“I feel like at the moment I’m leaning more towards going into the pop industry. I’m looking at more R&B styles and thinking of what I can bring to the table.”
Spendlove has words of inspiration for young people who aspire to become musicians.
“I think you’ve got to keep at it and you can’t get caught up in the hype and the idea of fame,” she says. “I feel like I’m always really hard on myself not to get too big headed, because the fact is you have to love your career and music, and no matter what anyone tells you, you’ve got to work harder and get back at it.
“Always be nice and appreciate the expertise of everyone behind the scenes, especially wardrobe and lighting. You have to appreciate their talent and what they’ve done, because they’re the ones that are going to make you look amazing.”'
BY CHRISTINE TSIMBIS