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AKA: Kirsty Bertarelli

K-Tel Soundz, Spinnin' Records, Zouk Recordings
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On April 15th 2013 Kirsty will be releasing ‘Send Out A Message (To The World)’, a perfect introduction to this talented singer/songwriter.

The first song from her new album ‘Love Is’, ‘Send Out A Message (To The World)’ is an uplifting celebration of life on which she duets with Ronan Keating. Recorded in both London and Nashville, ‘Love Is’ is a collection of beautifully crafted, timeless pop songs tinged with a lyrical depth that evokes true emotion. A deeply personal record, the album covers the broad range of feelings that are encompassed by the word ‘love’. As Kirsty explains “love is such a potent word, with many sides to it: it can be beautiful but its power shows its colours in many different ways – it can stir such deep reactions, it can make you irresponsible and irrational, passionate and tender, insecure and angry, joyful and exhilarated.”

Inspired by storytellers such as Bryan Adams and Joe Cocker and, more recently, by Norah Jones and Adele, songwriting is Kirsty’s personal release, her way of expressing herself. “I always write. If someone or something has touched me deeply I write about it, whether that is my family and the people I care about or something I’ve experienced or observed. I’ve never known anything different.” Signed as a songwriter to Sony ATV Publishing, Kirsty met Don Mescall (Rascal Flatts, Ronan Keating, Frances Black) in 2012 with a view to writing songs for other artists. “I went into the studio with the lyrics for ‘Rescue Me’, Don started playing some beautiful chords, I sang my heart out and we just clicked.” Kirsty then set about producing what will be her first UK album release although she is not a stranger to the charts.

Following success as a model in her teens, the Staffordshire-born singer moved to London and began to write professionally. Signed to Warner Brothers Records, Kirsty wrote ‘I Wouldn’t Wanna Be’, a song originally destined to be on her debut record until the British group All Saints fell in love with the song, changed the title to ‘Black Coffee and had a number 1 hit.

Whilst delighted that her songwriting was recognised, Kirsty remained hungry for her own time as a performer. “Don’t get me wrong, it’s fantastic to hear your songs on the radio, and to see them on TV, but at the same time it’s so hard to hear your own feelings in the lyrics when someone else is performing!” So, Kirsty focussed on writing and recording her own record. “It’s important for me to feel a connection to the music,” says Kirsty. “Having started with so many ideas and written so much, it was great to shape the production process as well.”

However her ambitions as a recording artist paused when she married, moved to Switzerland, and started a family. Returning to music in 2009 Kirsty recorded the album ’Elusive’. Her ability to write had never been in doubt, but at last Kirsty had the chance to carry her own songs. Her gift for a subtly-conveyed lyric and capacity to make those words connect via her voice proved the perfect vehicle and ‘Elusive’, which was released on Universal Records, became a top 20 hit in Switzerland. An exhaustive series of European live dates followed (not least of all a show at the Montreux Jazz Festival and supporting Simply Red on their farewell tour).

When not working on her music, Kirsty leads many of the philanthropic projects supported by the Bertarelli Foundation. These include a partnership with the UK government supporting the Marine Reserve in the British Indian Ocean Territory (one of the largest in the world), as well as a recent initiative to turn the Turneffe Atoll in Belize into a nature reserve. Closer to home, 2012 saw the first Bertarelli Foundation Creative Minds Festival in Kirsty’s home town of Stoke-on-Trent, which encourages participation in the creative arts amongst schoolchildren from all backgrounds.

Kirsty’s husband and continuing inspiration is Ernesto Bertarelli, a Swiss entrepreneur active in the fields of business, sport and philanthropy. This month is the 10th anniversary of the first of Ernesto’s two victories in the America’s Cup, and his Alinghi team remains the only one from Europe to win in the Cup’s history. In business, the Bertarelli name is most closely associated with the life sciences company Serono, SA, which was grown over the course of three generations of the family and turned into a global leader in biotechnology by Ernesto.