O2 Centre contest blends busker’s love of music with helping charity

A busker has revealed her love of music and charity ahead of competing in the hotly anticipated Search For A Star competition at the O2 Centre, Finchley Road, on Saturday afternoon.

Surianne Dalmedo, 32, from Stoke Newington, describes herself as a singer of “acoustic, flamenco and Latin rock”.

She was born in Gibraltar but moved to England 13 years ago, originally to study interior architecture and design before turning her focus to music.

Surianne works as a fundraiser for Hestia, a housing support charity, and the proceeds of her first single Stronger Than Before, which made it into the iTunes chart, were donated to it.

Her involvement in the charity sector was the main reason for entering the competition – set up in collaboration with the Ham&High to promote the Multiple Sclerosis Society, with all proceeds donated to the charity. “I was looking at different places that I could busk when I came across the competition,” said Surianne. “The charity element of the competition motivated me – you’re giving something back which is great.

“I don’t have any personal experiences of MS, but I have friends of friends who have it. So to raise awareness of it, especially using music as a tool, is absolutely fabulous.

“It would be great to win but at the end of the day it’s for a great cause.”

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Surianne’s musical career stretches back to her childhood, where family and community influences inspired her distinctive style.

“Gibraltar is now a rock-based environment,” she said. “My dad forced me and my brother to sit down and listen to Paul Simon over and over. Both my parents were bikers, so I guess they’ve influenced me.

“Gibraltar also has a strong historical arabesque and flamenco tradition, so I try to bring both of those strands into my music.”

On Saturday, Surianne and other buskers competing in Search For A Star will perform at the O2 Centre in 15-minute busking slots for the chance to win a day in the recording studio.

It was the appeal of busking as well as the charity link that particularly attracted Surianne to the competition.

Saturday’s line-up is:

Surianne performing with David Saavedra – acoustic latin flamenco music

Dail MacDonald – acoustic singer/songwriter

Marcelle Johnson – soulful vocalist

Sylvia Calzolari – powerful-voiced Italian singer

Richard Burrell – folk guitarist

Adil Qazi – rapper grime MC

* Wild card slots are still available for performers wishing to take part in the live finals on July 14. To enter please send a short sound recording to o2star@pegasuspr.co.uk by Tuesday, July 10.