MOST aspiring musicians set their sights on playing Wembley or the O2 Arena, but one Shepherd’s Bush artist is hoping to perform a little closer to home.

After narrowly missing out on winning Radio 1’s Live Lounge competition last week, singer-songwriter Emma Ballantine is more determined than ever to reach her goal of gracing the stage at Bush Hall.

The 26-year-old came second in the nationwide competition but that has not dampened her songwriting ambitions as she plans to continue creating her own acoustic music
and is working on a new record for 2013.

Over the past few years the Bloemfontein Road resident has been slowly making ripples in the west London music scene after performing at open mic nights at The Goldhawk, in Shepherd’s Bush, and the iconic Troubadour, in Earl’s Court.

However, after seeing another up-and-coming artist, Hammersmith based Alessi’s Ark, playing at the Bush, Ms Ballantine knew where she wanted to go.

The communications worker said: “I liked the idea that she was local and played my sort of music. What I love about it is it’s quite an independent venue and you just feel like this is how music should be – up close to acts, which provides a great platform for up-and-coming artists.

“I walk past the venue every day when I go to work and when I come back, and on the posters you see some really fantastic acts you might not have heard of.

“You can get intimate shows as well as big acts, it would be so exciting to see my name up there.”

She entered the competition after uploading her own videos to YouTube and following the success of her first official EP Flying Machine, which was released in August.

The competition winner got to record at London’s legendary Metropolis Studio.

For more information on Emma, visit