By Michael Cerio
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — UK singer Birdy has managed global success, an online army of fans, and a few stacks of platinum plaques all before the age of twenty – she just can’t manage to get a cheesesteak.
“I tried today, and there’s just so many people. I’m going to go when it’s a bit quieter. Maybe lunch is like the bad time to go,” she laughs from inside The TLA in Philadelphia.
Settling for South St. nachos during her Friday night tour stop is one of the young singer’s few comprises of late, as she has poured herself into her unyielding latest album Beautiful Lies. The twenty-year-old artist is capitalizing on the success she’s seen since the age of fourteen, when her cover of Bon Iver’s “Skinny Love” made her a sensation.
“It’s the first time I’ve really had a vision and an opinion for everything,” Birdy explains of her new album. “That was just from getting older, so I just feel it’s so personal and it moves me a lot.”
While many were navigating the freshly fearful terrain of high school, Birdy was nurturing a career that was taking flight. That Bon Iver cover launched her from bedroom writing sessions and YouTube uploads to world tours and three impressive albums.
“It’s been a really weird five years” Birdy describes with awe. “It’s only now I’m looking back at it and realizing how much time has gone and where I have been. There’s all these places I’ve been and I can hardly remember them because it’s such a blur.”
Fourteen might sound like an astounding age to be so talented, but Birdy was already an old pro by the time her teens hit. She learned piano from her concert pianist mother, and began composing and writing songs at the age of eight.
“I was writing about love and sad songs and heartbreak,” she remembers. “My parents would listen at the bottom of the stairs and be like ‘What is she going through? Like something awful has happened. Don’t let anybody hear them, they’re going to think something awful has happened.'”
The great thing about writing at eight, is that by twenty you get to discover who you really are as an artist. For Birdy’s latest Beautiful Lies she feels like she finally has found a way to put that on the record.
“I’ve always been really shy and that’s part of it, but I also just didn’t really know what I wanted at that age” says Birdy. “Until this album, I hadn’t really figured it out yet and I was still experimenting, but this one feels right.”
To hear more from Birdy on fan fiction, Snapchat, and her new album, check out the full interview below.