Sheila spent her Year Dot juggling school work with her music aspirations. What came out top: the classroom or the stage?

Sheila's Story

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Sheila Lord

A year to beat all others


Singer-songwriter, Sheila, has divided her year between school and the stage. It's been one massive learning curve for her. Having altered the course of her future, how does she feel at the end of it?

Sheila's to do list

  1. Get more regular gig slots outside of the local scene
  2. Get my music more publicly known
  3. Go on at least one new radio show (I’ve done BBC Essex, Southend Radio and Basildon Radio…)
  4. Get some sort of funding whether this be from paid gigs or CD sales
  5. Record a new album
  6. Write faster/ more upbeat songs to balance out the ballads I write
  8. Look at possible universities
  9. Hopefully… get a record deal… :)

Sheila's big plan

Posted: 29/06/2008

HELLO!!! My name is Sheila Lord, I’m 17 years old, 18 in September, WOOP! I don’t want to come across as the typical… "Oh My God I’m so different from everybody else, I’m SOOO unique" but I would say I’m not the norm. I’d like to say you can’t really shove "a Sheila" into a category… you kinda just have to leave her to it and she’ll usually drift from place to place in search of enlightenment, sunshine, lollypops and rainbows. I guess if you did want to shove "Sheila" into a category, she’d be best pleased with singer/songwriter.

My main goal is to get my music publicly known. I don’t yearn for the fame or the ridiculous 500 bedroom house with 10 billion swimming pools, it’s just amazing to express yourself publicly through music and have people listen to that expression with open ears, hearts and minds.

I guess the other side to the crazy Sheila is the philosophical "I want to question this" kinda side. I guess I have many sides… but that’s what being a Sheila is all about.

Sheila's journal

Final Update: 10/09/2009

Thank You

Thanks everyone for your comments =) They were all so lovely and supportive =)

I was pelasantly surprised by the gig offers i got, I really appreciate them,,but if its ok I'd like to get myself settled into university first. The easiest way of getting in contact with me is my facebook page, as yeardot is drawing to an end now and I dont check this myspace as much as I used to... just search Sheila Lord on facebook, I'm easy to find =)

There were comments such as Baz's asking about open mic nights. I personally have never done an open mic night but that doesnt mean i dont reccomend them. I think open night mics all depend on its venue and where you are in music. I'd say open mic nights are great for first starting out and getting used to audeinces, or even full bands who feel like a little bit of practice without too much pressure. Booked gigs by companys are hearder to get so usually the standard is higher, open mic nights are more laid back! I have done acoustic night gigs, but once again they were booked through companys not on a turn up and play kinda thing =) My response was often very good, I'm very luck, i never really got bad comments from people and most people always came up after and said something positive, so I'm always grateful for that.

Thanks also to people such as Lisa Palmer and Edwin John, for those who want to do music and have been asking me advice, I reccomend you see the comments, they suggested pages such as and for undiscovered and unsigned artists.

Thanks again for all your comments, Year Dot has been an amazing experience, and i wish all of you all the best in your years ahead =)

MUCH LOVE AND HUGS and thank you for all your support throughout this year =)

Sheila x x x

Read all of Sheila's blogs

Still want more?

Want more information on music, song-writing and how to get involved? Looking for interesting music teaching resources? Check out the websites below...

Listen to Sheila's new track with Simon Ellis

Music Teachers Resource Site

Your messages

Read through Sheila's fantastic comments:

you will always be special to me and my family, we will always love that you came into our lives, and I still belive you will make it, dont forget I'm your pencil sharpener! love you Shelia xxxxx

sue douglas (ur 2nd mum) (1871 days ago) Report Comment

hey, just wanted to say good luck with uni and everything, hope you get signed soon as your music is sweet:). Good luck,
Alex x

Alex D'Arcy (1885 days ago) Report Comment

Picture of sheila lordhey jay, whats ure e-mail, if you dont want to post it here feel free to send it to my myspace, or facebook might be better, just type in sheila lord and you'll find me, thanks for your support =)

sheila lord (1892 days ago) Report Comment

hey, just wanted to say good luck with everythin you're doin. I'd love to have a chance like this, i'm so jealous!! =P if you have any good advice or words of encouragement please email me, i could really do with a helping hand =)

Jay Kelly (1894 days ago) Report Comment

Hi, I was wondering if you did open mic nights and what sort of response you get. also, do get your gigs by speaking to managers or do you have an agent?
I call myself a singer songwriter and am on a gap year so am also trying to progress alot this year. Some of my songs are on myspace if you want a listen(
Keep up the good work.

Baz (1906 days ago) Report Comment

i have just watched my first yeardot and think that you have amazing musical being.. keep believing in yourself, its happening for you

jenny (1906 days ago) Report Comment

hey love the musi, i run a few clubs in and around your area, drop me an email if your interested in any future gigs drop me an email.

miles fox (1906 days ago) Report Comment

Picture of Simon JenkinsHey Sheila. How's it going? Just wanted to say, don't be scared about going off to Kingston. I was when i went there, but after a few days, you wonder why you were scared... You'll have a great time. I'm living in Portsmouth at the moment, but I'll be heading back up to Kingston way ASAP. Obviously, I'd be happy to help you out with anything in Kingston. Don't hesitate to ask...! Do you know which halls you are going into?

Anyway, congratulations on getting into Kingston. I hope you really enjoy it, I'm sure you will. I'll speak to / see you soon.

All the best!

(Enjoy it - those 3 years go damn quick... Before you know it, you're a 21 year old kid wondering what to do...)!!!

Si xxx

Simon Jenkins (1907 days ago) Report Comment

hey shelia, i didn know about this, been watching your videos exciting stuff good luck with it all x x x x katie

katie witchell (1919 days ago) Report Comment

Picture of sheila lordthanks lauren =) all the best x x x

sheila lord (1945 days ago) Report Comment

I think ur grt!! xx

Lauren Barker (1946 days ago) Report Comment

Picture of sheila lordhi chloe, sorry for a late reply! ive been in norwich for the last week, from the open days and talking to the students most of them live in halls, those that did live at home said it was harder to make friends and socialise but on the plus it was cheaper. I dont have first habd experience bout the social life, but its got several clubs and a huge town centre, or if you want a more relaxed time the lake and parks and gardens are a bus ride away. I loved it there, i hope this helps. if you go on their website they usually have days where u can tlak to students directly online... or you can somment simon, hes just finished ay kingston =) sheila x x x

sheila lord (1966 days ago) Report Comment

Hey sheila, Im considering of going to kingston uni next year. Could you pleas tell me if most students live in the uni halls (accomodation) or do they just live at home, what are u doing. and if the social life is good?

chloe (1971 days ago) Report Comment

Picture of sheila lordno problemo =) im glad you like them. I'm thinking of recording my songs vis youtube for fans =) alot of people have showed alot of support =) x

sheila lord (1976 days ago) Report Comment

Cheers for the link, just downloaded some of your songs and am currently playing them on loop. cheers!! =)


Katherine (1976 days ago) Report Comment

Picture of sheila lordthanks so much Katherine =)I wont give up music i promise, i just needed a lil break from it, but i'll keep writing songs =) you can download some of ym songs from here if ya fancy it Thank you for commenting =) thanks for following my journey... been a bit bonkers but been awesome =)

x x x

sheila lord (1977 days ago) Report Comment

you've been amazing this last year, sheila. good luck with everything, but don't stop your music! need to obtain a copy of some of your stuff as it is simply amazing!
love & best wishes

Katherine (1977 days ago) Report Comment

Picture of sheila lordawww thank you Alison, I still love music, i just fell out of love with the industry im not thick skinned enough for it =( But im going to continue to make music and write songs, thanks for following the journey with me =) yeardot has been such a great experience! Thanks again!

x x x

sheila lord (1978 days ago) Report Comment

This year dot year has gone so quick i thought you would get a record deal as i like your stuff. thanks for keeping us entertayned this last year!

Alison (1978 days ago) Report Comment

Picture of sheila lordthanks james =) I'm really looking forward to university and Kingston had such a great atmosphere =) Thank you for the comment! x x x

sheila lord (2015 days ago) Report Comment

Hi Sheila, I would say that you can still go to uni and keep working on your music at the same time. Im just finishing my degree in music performance and there are great music facilities at the Kingston Hill campus that you should be allowed to use! Good luck wuth everything.

James (2016 days ago) Report Comment

You should do the song we sang in year 8, something along the lines of i remember the first time i cried...
No, you're doing well sheila, would be good to see you sooners!!

Heather (2066 days ago) Report Comment

Picture of sheila lordthanks sarah and rachael! thank you so much for your support, to sarah, i love playing at stars in our eyes, ive done it once before and i love it!!! hopefully i'll be able to do it again ^_^
x x x

sheila lord (2089 days ago) Report Comment

Saw u at the weekend playing at stars in our eyes when i went to see my sister dance! I thought u where great! keep up the gooood work! hope to hear more music from u soon and hope u get signed!

Sarah (2089 days ago) Report Comment

Hey Sheila! Just wanted to say that i think you are great and hope you go far in the music world :D I am a young(14yrs of age)singer/songwrighter myself and i want to go into music as a career, so maybe one day i will follow in your footsteps :)Good luck, i'm behind you all the way xx

Rachel (2090 days ago) Report Comment

Picture of sheila lordhey sammie, you can download it here m'dear!!

thanks for the comment!

x x

sheila lord (2092 days ago) Report Comment

Hey sheila i watched u the ova day on channel 4 i think ur really gd u should carry on dont let any1 get u down if you was doing a gig in wolverhampton i sure would come and gd luk in the future i really want ur song shoulda known betta is there any way i can download it xx

sammie (2094 days ago) Report Comment

Hey Sheila!
I really enjoyed your music, would come to one of your gigs if you were a bit closer to Southampton lol!
You just need a lucky break then your be fine :)

Matt (2094 days ago) Report Comment

i loveeeeeeeee u ur really good a t music x

connor no1 fan (2095 days ago) Report Comment

Hi, just watched you on yeardot, loved the live gig! Downloaded sticks & stones via myspace/liveglue. Think that one really shows your range and has a very unique style that will help you go far. liked the other songs too, but prefer your folky style, hope you get the chance to do more like that :). Keep up the good work and hopefully you'll gig somewhere nearer where I am! x

Charlie (2096 days ago) Report Comment

Hey :) i'v just watched you on TV! i think you should stick at what your doing! you'v got a really good voice.. keep your head up :) xx

abbie (2096 days ago) Report Comment

I love your music, stick to the folk, as i and most people think that it fits better with your style.

bea (2096 days ago) Report Comment

If you're merely getting your name out there, take it from me, not many people will pay to see you gig, and if they do, they may resent you for making them do so. I suppose it depends on your target market. Busking; if done correctly can provide a springboard for not only getting your name and music out there, but also feedback from the people listening. Hang in there, remember, our greatest fear isn't that we are inadequete, but powerful beyond measure, let yourself shine.

Liam (2096 days ago) Report Comment

Also (& i know this is going to sound REALLY cheesy) but how about advrtising for weddings,parties etc? it would all count as experience for you & the band while getting your faces known.

sam (2096 days ago) Report Comment

Picture of sheila lordanother comment im getting is about gigging and going round the country, or at the london undergrounds, I deffinately want to gig more. With the new band i want to try and get all the songs really tight, i dont want to make the mistake of putting us out there prematurely, i'd rather wait and have really great sounding songs. I do deffinately want to get out there, and with the underground it sounds pretty awesome! I hadnt actually thought of that so that would be nice ^_^

x x x

sheila lord (2096 days ago) Report Comment

been watching yeardot on tele for awhile now and thought id come on to check you out... will be adding you on myspace. loving the music

keep up the good work hun X

kate (2096 days ago) Report Comment

Picture of sheila lordjust reading through them all again, thank you for your responses, i like the fact the main feedback is be true to myself when I'm writing, which is refreshing in being honest, quite a manufactured industry. Thank you for all your support and advice, its really appreciated!

sheila lord (2096 days ago) Report Comment

Picture of sheila lordhey everyone, sorry, was just commenting on the comment link, so sorry i havnt responded sooner! I'm pleasantly surprised by the comments, lots of people say that they wouldnt normally listen to my type of music but did like it!! Alot of people again like the pole are saying they like my old stuff rather than the Simon Ellis track which still surprises me but its good to know what you guys think!! some questions were how have i got contacts and what do i intend to do after college. Getting contacts i find easier to do online, add venues and promoters, but talk to them and actually get a connection, u'll be surprised how many people you meet through just knowing one person. For the college question. I'm taking a gap year to concentrate on music but, my back up plan is in order, i have a differed entry into Kingston University for Creative writing with English literature! Thanks again guys!! Your feedbacks really helpful!

sheila lord (2096 days ago) Report Comment

how about busking on the london underground to get more people hearing your music? i was back in the uk in october & heard some amazing musicians there

sam (2096 days ago) Report Comment

heya hunni ure amazing ive know u since school keep up the good work all the best hunni abbey xxx

abbey short (2096 days ago) Report Comment

hey, i watched your t.v show and i thought you were AMAZING. Im not usualy into this type of music but, i listened to you and really enjoyed it :P i just wanted to say keep at it because one day ill be buying your cd's

if u wana get back to mr my email is
thanks :)

Simon =) (2096 days ago) Report Comment

Hey Sheila. Watched Yeardot and had to check out your band on myspace to compare the old songs with your new one. I must agree with lots of other comments "Should known better" is a good song, but to be honest I think your other songs are a lot better! I really like Sticks and Stones, although I was quite surprised when you said it was a rough demo of it! It sounds great! Fight for your dream and never give up! P.S Nice hair :P xxx

Debs (2096 days ago) Report Comment

Forgot to ask in my last post, but what d'you hope to do after leaving school?

With regards to improving your music, the only advice I can give as a fellow songwriter would be to be true to yourself when you write, and let the music flow regardless of genre constraints. Write as you are and as comes naturally. :)

Arron (2096 days ago) Report Comment

heya shelia love ure new songs keep up the good work hunni ure amazing

abbey short (2096 days ago) Report Comment

You could try playuing at venues around the country so that a wide range of people will recognise you become aware of your amazing talent :)

Jill (2096 days ago) Report Comment

Get a facebook and add hakeem james

Halz (2096 days ago) Report Comment

hi just seen u on tv think that u r a fab singer and keep up the good work looking for that record deal....the only advice i can giv u is to wait until the nxt x factor audition's cum round and get ur sell in ther, uv got the style looks and voice,
good luk babe hope every thin wrks out for u.

Ben (2096 days ago) Report Comment

I really like your music (: x

Sarah (2096 days ago) Report Comment

Hi, I think you're amazing. Its your opportunity, don't give up. Stay in your tune, as be yourself & be proud of who you are =] Becs x

Becca (2096 days ago) Report Comment

Hi Sheila, I saw the year dot for the first time today, really think you have a unique voice i personly would buy your CD.
Love your attitude i hope you do really well.

Amy Beckett (2096 days ago) Report Comment

i think you have an amazing voice... stick to your on stuff... your different to every other singer out there and dats wat we need... every singer out there just sing the same all the have diff to each other are the lyrics i use to sing myself till i became a pro irish dancer im sure u will be picked up soon ur great x

Bryan (2096 days ago) Report Comment

hiya sheila i reli like my acoutic n i love ur tunz i think u shud go round the youth clubs and promote get younger fans much respect look 4ward to hearing from u x

ross lancaster (2096 days ago) Report Comment

heyy Sheila,
just watched the programme and I think that you are an amazing singer and you are brilliant at writing lyrics.
Keep up the good work as I'm sure that you will go far! xx

Amy (2096 days ago) Report Comment

heyy Sheila!
I think your awesome, I much prefer your w stuff and think you could do really well with them!
-Lauren x

Lauren (2096 days ago) Report Comment

Oh and i forgot to say, i really like your song with simon ellis (:

Alicia (2096 days ago) Report Comment

Hi sheila,just watched you on year Dot & just want to say good luck.Dont change your music style for anyone, keep true to yourself & fame will eventually come to you-just keep working hard & you'll get there.
sam xx

sam (2096 days ago) Report Comment

I Really like your music Keep it going :)

Lucy Algar (2096 days ago) Report Comment

hey this may come across as a bad comment but so many pepl r telin u ur briliant,u r good but u need to stay focused and realise that no matter how much u like ur own songs,to get anywhere ur songs are going to be changed so u really think britney spears wanted to sound like abit of a spaz? lol no she probs didnt but she knew thats wat people would want to hear.your startin from scratch so no matter how ur songs get changed, if they think u wil go far on them then take it, u see so many people keein to their own thing and refusin help type thing but where are they now?...postin there songs on myspace...not wat ur hoping for im sure..good luck with everything x

Tamara (2096 days ago) Report Comment

Wow you were an amazing singer from what i could see on the show earlier. Has anything new happened since the show was recorded
Chris x

Chris Broadley (2096 days ago) Report Comment

hey, i just watched you on tv, i think you are brilliant! your music is great! good luck for the future! xxx

Alicia (2096 days ago) Report Comment

Hey Sheila, just watched the programme and i think your music is amazing! There are not many artists like you out there, truly unique and i hope somebody spots you soon to help you achieve your dreams. I will be waiting to see your albulm on the shelves soon! x

Liz (2096 days ago) Report Comment

you have 1 amazing voice hunni, i watch year dot everyweek with out fail :)i personally think you are going to go far in life with your voice so keep doing what you do hunni xx good luck xx

Lauren from harlow 18 (2096 days ago) Report Comment

Hey Sheila, After watching you on Year Dot, I felt I should contact you somehow!
I finished my A2 exams last year and have been hunting for a career within the music industry ever since, and it's encouraging to see someone going through the same sort of things and making the same sort of life/career choices. I'd like to make a career out of either performing, whether with my band Phase 4 or as a soloist/with another group, composing or maybe producing/editing in a studio. I am primarily a drummer/percussionist, but I play guitar and vocals in Phase 4, and then I play bass, a little keyboard and then whatever else I can lay my hands on! I was wondering how you've been making some of the contacts in the business that you have, and how you came to arrive at the places you have.
Hopefully hear from you soon. :)

Arron (2096 days ago) Report Comment

hey sheila, i just passed through year dot when i saw it on channel four and i have to say that i am very impressed with your music. Your new song shows that you have improved greatly. keep doing what you are doing

Farai (2097 days ago) Report Comment

your music bores me and I don't think that it's a very origonal style!

Joe (2103 days ago) Report Comment

You have an amazing voice! If I were a producer I was sign you up so god damn fast! Cowell get your pants on!!!

Shaun (2108 days ago) Report Comment

saw the repeat programme, liked the music your different, respect to you

nick b (2121 days ago) Report Comment

Picture of sheila lordhey Bev, I have done singing lessons previously which if you get a good teacher are really worth the effort! Both teachers i had both taught me valuable breathing techniques, which REALLY helps holding those belting notes. These are usually what i do for warm ups, as well as singing before hand so your voice isnt just straight off, you could sing music scales or even just a tune you know. I cant really write it all here, but if you want more detail jus gimmie a message at my myspace and i'll go in more depth! Thanks everyone for commenting! Sheila
x x x

sheila lord (2124 days ago) Report Comment

i think you should organise shows or perform in shows that are big which you know are coming up soon. that way your confidence will build up and also someone who is feeling your music will spot you with a greater chance and that way you'll have a good chance. thats what i try to do so i can get myself heard. go different places n show them my talent. saw the show today which i think you've got talent n hpefully you'll go far, good luck.

Ricky (2124 days ago) Report Comment

heya i seen the program 2day n i thought it was gd.I sing but i dnt think am gd enuff. I just lyk singing coz it makes me feel gd lol.. erm i was just wondering how do yu get your voice so strong & do yu do warm ups? If yu do wot do yu do... Btw i think your gr8 =] Bye.xx

Bev (2124 days ago) Report Comment

Hello, i saw you on tv earlier you are AMAZING i wish i was as good as you.
I hope it all goes well for you :):)

Laura (2124 days ago) Report Comment

Hiya u ok i saw the programe on the tv today and i thing that u are really good. X

adamgidman (2124 days ago) Report Comment

heyy darling, im not even joking here, your an amazing singer. im watching you on telly now and your amazing, you have nothing to worry about at all :) all the best

stephhh (2124 days ago) Report Comment

ust wanted to say your work is amazing, and tht you look beutiful!!!

michael (2124 days ago) Report Comment

Picture of Sheila Lordhi dave. thank you for the kind words, im glad im not big-headed, even if i manage to get super dooper famous, i'd still deffinately want to keep my feet firmly on the ground. Thanks again! and to everyone ^_^


x x x

Sheila Lord (2127 days ago) Report Comment

Hi Sheila, I don't know why you get so nervous, I've heard your music, and it's blooming brilliant! You're very talented, and I hope you make it- you're not bigheaded, which is nice to see, as you obviously have the talent.

Dave Chawner (2128 days ago) Report Comment

Picture of sheila lordthanks again eveyone for commenting! Its very helpful! Thanks marilyn, that was a lovely comment you wrote!! ^_^


x x x

sheila lord (2129 days ago) Report Comment

contacts, contacts, contacts! Your in a band, let your music and personality shine through and show others that you'll make it, regardless of all the media and websites! you have a talent and you've come very far, just don't give up. Fans are people that respect you as a person, as well as your music, because both combined are an inspiration to them.

marilyn (2129 days ago) Report Comment

I think Shelia should expose her music on networking sites like MySpace, Facebook & Bebo. This would be a great way to build up a fan base and a following, and any gigs that she is attending with her band, fans can see where to go and watch her perform. Also commenting on other artists profiles, will be a great thing, especially on how many profile views they have received, so you know people will see your comment, and maybe click on your profile.

Luke Mose (2135 days ago) Report Comment

Get some exposure on other artists myspace sites who have similar music style to you! People always link through other artists. Also get other artists to feature you, it creates a buzz and everyone supports their favorite bands music tastes :)

Lanny (2146 days ago) Report Comment

Picture of sheilaThanks for your comments guys, they are really helpful. I'm starting to get more gigs in london now that the new band are all rearing to go. I really like the stickers idea! Simple but effective!!

Thanks again everyone! It's lovely hearing your thoughts!!


x x x

sheila (2146 days ago) Report Comment

Sheila has to gig like crazy and as she is so close to London, try and get some more gigs in the city as they have more people going to them. Any musician has to work sooooo hard to get anywhere in the business...It doesn't just happen over night! x

Sarah Casper (2151 days ago) Report Comment

I agree with Chris in that Sheila should advertise her myspace lots. I have a friend that literally sticks stickers everywhere...including the back of a cubicle door in the girls toilets lol!
You'd be surprised at how many people notice these stickers and will log on and check you out!
Also try networking with other singers/bands/music promoters on myspace, get them to check out your stuff! Message lots of people, the more people your in contact with - the more likely that you'll get opportunities!

Tara (2152 days ago) Report Comment

A popular thing to do is get your MySpace address on little stickers and literally stick them from everything from bus shelters to lamposts where people might see them. I remember I used to see them all the time for certain things around the city I used to live in and I would go and check it out just out of curiosity. That way, people are getting to the MySpace that wouldn't necessarily normally.

It's time to get the name out there more as well. More, more, more on everything! Live appearances, promo work, the lot!

Chris Will Clark (2164 days ago) Report Comment

I think Sheila should continue to perform around her hometown and the rest of Essex.

It is good to start in your own area and gradually increase your fanbase across the county.

Also the use of social networking sites such as Myspace & Facebook are brilliant ways of increasing your fanbase. Maybe you could get a street team on Myspace?

Robert Jerome (2165 days ago) Report Comment

Sheila needs to go mad pulling in punters from everywhere through her myspace to try and get fans and build up people and networks of friends to help her...

james (2167 days ago) Report Comment

Building up a fan base is tricky, good luck

Nigel (2167 days ago) Report Comment