The Islington singer who grew up around Tina Turner

Jacqui Marland talks about following in her idol’s footsteps

JACQUI Marland spent many childhood days on the Tina Turner tour bus and behind the scenes at the megastar’s concerts.

Now the 24-year-old wants to follow in her idol’s footsteps to become a singer – and has returned to her roots in Islington to make it big.

The daughter of Tina Turner’s musical director grew up near Finsbury Park, before moving to the USA at the age of six.

She said: “My dad became Tina Turner’s keyboard player in 1987 and now he’s her musical director.

“I used to go around on the planes and on the tour buses with him. I don’t think I really knew what was going on.

“My earliest memory of her is in her dressing room, she asked me what kind of fruit I wanted – and I asked for a pineapple.”

Most Read

Jacqui now lives in Islington Park Street, Islington, having moved back from Texas in the summer of 2009 to be closer to her Islington cousins – and to set her sights on stardom on the British music scene.

She said: “The soul and R’n’B influenced pop I’m doing seems to be flourishing here. I’m in the same category as artists such as Duffy, Amy Winehouse and Adele. But my biggest inspirations are Tina and Donny Hathaway.”

She is set to release her first EP, with five tracks recorded over the last 18 months – during which her musical identity has really started to take shape.

“I’ve been writing and recording and trying to do music professionally since I was 16,” she said.

“Both my parents were in the music business so I grew up around it, and doing music for a living never seemed like an impossibility.

“But I didn’t know what I was doing when I was 16 or what kind of artist I wanted to be. Last year is when I really started to figure it out.”

And if the music doesn’t take off, Jacqui could forge a career in psychology instead.

The up-and-coming artist did not finish university in the US – after singing took over her life – but this September she embarked on a psychology degree at Birkbeck College.

“It’s is all about looking at why we are the way we are,” she said. “And in my music I try to explore that.”

She added: “My ambition is for my music to be successful. I don’t want to be a megastar – I just want to make a living doing what I love.”

Jacqui Marland’s EP On My Way will be released online on December 15.