Tonsillitis keeps young Highgate singer from final of mayor’s busking competition

An up-and-coming singer from Highgate has missed out on a spot in the final of the Mayor of London’s busking competition after suffering a serious throat infection.

Gabriella Diaferia, 17, of Hornsey Lane Gardens, beat 5,000 contestants to become one of 200 finalists in the Mayor of London’s Gigs 2013, Big Busk competition.

The teenager, who joined a choir at just six-years-old, performs stripped down acoustic music in a band and as a solo artist at venues in Camden and Kensal Rise.

The Big Busk competition gives contestants the chance to win a prestigious spot busking on the London Underground as well as music industry mentoring.

Although Miss Diaferia narrowly missed out on reaching the grand final - she missed some of her allocated performance spots due to a serious bacterial tonsillitis infection - she has received more bookings since entering the contest which she hopes will help boost her career.

She said: “I had hoped I’d get to the semi-finals, my family thought it was good and my friends have been voting for me but I missed some of my slots due to ill-health so I knew had less of a chance of getting to the final.

“I’m going on to study music study vocals at The Institute of Contemporary Music this September so I’m hoping to get the best out of that and I’ll carry on performing live,” she said.