Talking Music: Katie Ashby of Britain's Got Talent Finalists D-Day Darlings Talks Debut Album
Sony Music UK recently announced that The D-Day Darlings’ are the best-selling female group to come out of Britain’s Got Talent for debut week album sales. The Darlings’ debut album ‘I’ll Remember You’ recently entered the chart at number 15 the UK Official Albums Chart and founder and lead singer of The D-Day Darlings Katie Ashby couldn’t be happier.
“Sony decided to put their faith in us,” Katie told Andy Howells, “They are so mindful to protect what we stand for and to do it with dignity. It’s brilliant we’re so happy!”
Katie formed the group in 2008 with the intention of wanting to invoke the spirit of the wartime era and the beautiful, heartfelt music recorded during the period. The Darlings initially performed to older generations in care homes around her native Yorkshire as well as wartime themed festivals.
“I noticed how the wartime music resonated with them and took them back to a certain period in time and particularly more than any other genre of music it really moved them, and evoked memories and I just thought this is the music I want to do for a career.”
The demand was so great Katie formed a troupe with D-Day Darlings scattered around the United Kingdom for the girls to fulfil their engagements and it was this troupe that entered the ITV Britain’s Got Talent show earlier this year.
“I’d been for Britain’s Got Talent before with the trio and it’s never quite hit the mark with them,” reveals Katie, “I didn’t take the full team on and we didn’t go in the RAF uniforms. I guess I tried to do something different at that time and a little more modern, but it didn’t work for them.”
“So, I decided with this year so much surrounding the 100 years of the RAF and women’s votes I thought it was a good time to take it on, if ever there is one, I decided to go out and take the full troupe like a 9-man air crew and they bit it off and here we go. Made it to the final and came fourth!”
The Darlings success was quickly followed by the offer of a recording contract from Sony. Katie has worked closely with Little Mix producer Tim Woodcock to present a range of iconic wartime classics including White Cliffs of Dover, We’ll Meet Again and 2 brand new compositions by Katie and Tim, I’ll Remember You and Mary (a tribute to Mary Ellis, the last female spitfire pilot who passed away in July 2018)
“We wanted to retain the classic sound of the songs and not play with the melody too much,” says Katie of the album, “We’ve tried to modernise the production to bring it up to date so obviously it can play on the radio and not stick out too much. People want to enjoy these songs and take them into the new generation.”
Among the many supporters for The D-Day Darlings is wartime forces sweetheart, Dame Vera Lynn, who has encouraged the group from the offset.
“She’s our number one inspiration and just proud of anyone who tries to retain and remember what happened and keep it alive” says Katie.
While the album I’ll Remember You continues to ride high in the UK charts, The Darlings are remaining busy into 2019. Welsh fans can catch the trio at Swansea Grand on December 6 at 2pm in their own musical.
“We’re doing our wartime musical Songs That Won The War” says Katie,”It features the D-Day Darlings Trio and we’ve also got an actor in it called David Lawrence who plays John Adams, a soldier of war who tells the story of life at that time.”
No doubt, The D-Day Darlings will be victorious once again!
For more information on The D-Day Darlings visit ddaydarlings.co.uk and look out for more chat with Katie on the second EntsSouthWales Podcast released soon.