£1m record deal leaves singing dentist beaming
THERE was many a time when, as he drilled into people s teeth, Andrew Bain dreamt of hammering out a different tune.
THERE was many a time when, as he drilled into people's teeth, Andrew Bain dreamt of hammering out a different tune.
Now the "singing dentist" is getting ready to bring out his first album - even if superstar Prince has refused to allow an operatic cover of Purple Rain, the song that first propelled Andrew into the spotlight.
Opera singer Andrew, 35, was working at N7 Dental Care in Holloway Road, Holloway, when he landed his £1million contract with Sony BMG in August.
But many of his patients never even knew about his passion for singing - even though he has been belting out tunes since he was a child, was spotted by an agent while at university, and has had parts in productions such as the hit musical Les Miserables and the famous opera Cosi Fan Tutte.
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He said: "Some patients I did tell about my singing - others I didn't. I think some patients would prefer to think that all I did was dentistry. They were nervous enough!
"If a patient was really keen, I might give a very quiet demo - or give them a ticket to something I was doing.
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"Hopefully they are not too angry with me for leaving them. I hope they will understand that the singing is something I feel I have to do."
Although Andrew had sung for years - lately focusing his voice on opera - his big break came when he broke out of the mould.
Deciding that there had been enough people belting out the likes of Nessun Dorma - the Puccini aria made famous by the late Luciano Pavarotti - Andrew tried blending popular classics with his own distinct style.
And the demo done in his spare bedroom - on which he performed Prince's Purple Rain, Snow Patrol's Chasing Cars and David Bowie's Life on Mars? - caught the attention of the Sony BMG talent-spotters.
His forthcoming album, due to be released next month, contains the songs that helped launch him into the big-time - as well as other modern classics such as ABBA's The Winner Takes It All and Bryan Adams' Everything I Do.
But, to Andrew's disappointment, it will not contain the track that really caught the record label's attention - Purple Rain.
He said: "When I put it down in my bedroom, I really didn't give it a second thought. I was just putting it down for my own amusement. We had actually recorded it for the album and were very pleased with it. But Prince is quite adamant about not wanting other people to use his work."
And while dentistry may be on the back burner for now, Andrew has not ruled out a return.
He said: "There is a time when you have done the 20th filling of the day that you think maybe that's too many fillings. But you are helping people and talking to people and providing a very valuable service - and that's the side of things I will miss.