Leni White, the musician dubbed the ‘Amy Winehouse’ of classical music after she was sacked from a choir for going on a drunken rampage in front of Prince Charles has landed an album deal with a top music label.
The 30-year-old has destroyed the stuffy stereotype of classical musicians with her punk rock attitude and heavily tattooed body.
She was even booted out of the prestigious London Bach Choir following a drunken rampage at a carol service in St James’s Palace for Prince Charles.
But music label Imagem hope her unconventional image will attract a younger, edgier audience to her unique brand of ”neo” classical music.
She has been signed to an album deal with the label, who handle rights management for Vampire Weekend and Justin Timberlake.
Leni, from London, describes the deal as a ”dream come true” and wants to attract the grime and dubstep generation to her music.
She said: ”I’m bringing people in to listen to classical music that wouldn’t otherwise have given it a chance. It doesn’t have to big this posh, elitist world.
”When I joined the London Bach Choir they were really disapproving of me from the beginning – which is pretty much what I expected.
”There were a couple of incidents which lead to me getting asked to leave because my attitude didn’t really fit in.
”I did a whole day at a private function in front of Prince Charles. They didn’t feed us all day then they brought out a tonne of champagne so there was a drunken outburst.
”I’m not badly brought-up but I never subscribed to the notion that you have to do what anyone says to earn respect.
”I see my image as a positive aspect. I get people messaging me to say they love my music but they never would have listened to it if they hadn’t seen me.”
Leni began playing the violin at the age of seven and was in choirs and orchestras as a teenager but she has had no formal training at music college.
She wrote her first album in her bedroom using a computer program to layer the orchestral parts and building an electronic choir from samples of her own voice.
Talented composer Leni, who performs under the name Hazlitt, has already had her music featured in adverts for Red Bull and Adidas.
She writes music using a synthesised orchestra layered with her ethereal vocals singing a traditional Latin mass or requiem – although she is not religious.
But unlike traditional classical composers she did not create a score of her compositions and prefers to perform her music live with a small orchestra and samples.
She added: ”Unlike a lot of classical musicians, I don’t want to perform anything I didn’t write myself. You have to create and perform – it’s not the X Factor.
”My music is different to the typical old-school classical music. It’s done in a completely different way and it’s a very organic process.
”I started singing at a really early age – I could sing before I could talk – and I grew up in a very musical household.
”Before this I spent 12 years in rock bands so I was more used to wielding a guitar and screaming than singing angelic vocals.”
Leni’s self-released debut album ‘Requiem for Little Bird’ is available on iTunes and she is currently working on a new album with Imagem due to be released soon.
Imagem producer Dave Fuller said the label were hoping Leni’s rebellious image will get a younger audience interested in classical music.
He said: ”Imagem Production Music stumbled across Hazlitt’s music on MySpace and we were immediately blown away by its quality and originality.
”Hazlitt is one of the most talented new composers we have come across in a long time and it’s no surprise that her music is being snapped up for multi-million pound sports brand commercials.
”If for example Beethoven or Wagner were making music today there is a good chance they would be making epic music for similar visual spectaculars.
”Hazlitt is a real talent and Imagem Production Music takes enormous pride in nurturing the new generation of British composers.”
Leni’s music appeared in Adidas advert ‘The Quest’ which was broadcast before the start of the 2010 World Cup