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The lowdown on Lost Without You singer Freya Ridings

Finding success: Freya Ridings and (below) Laura and Jack on Love Island PICTURES: REX

Her single Lost Without You has had 20 million streams thanks to Love Island

‘That was a breakthrough moment. They used Lost Without You during a heartbreaking scene between Laura and Jack (pictured below). All my friends were messaging me like crazy, sayin,g “You’re on Love Island”, which I didn’t understand at first because I wasn’t on Love Island, I was in the back of a taxi. It’s such a human show with so many emotional moments. I was really invested in it. It was such an honour they used my music.’

She did her first gig at 11

‘I saw a poster at school for an open-mic night but it was just supposed to be for the sixth-form students and I was in the first year. I took a leap of faith and wanted to play the songs I’d written in my bedroom — and it was a lightning-bolt moment where I completely found what I loved. Performing felt like complete freedom. The first songs were about being ostracised and different at school.’

She played Born To Be Wild in pubs when she was 13

‘I started doing open-mic nights when I was 13. My dad would take me to pubs and I’d play Born To Be Wild and Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This) by Eurythmics. Sometimes there’d be loads of drunk people and no connection with the audience. It gave me a burst of energy — I didn’t have the luxury of people listening to me so I had to win them round. It got me in tune with the feedback of the room. When you test out a new song, you can feel if it is resonating with people. That happened the first time I did Lost Without You. I thought, “Wow, maybe this song will do something.”’

She had mixed experiences at the Brit School

‘My family moved across London so I could go to the Brit School [of performing arts]. I’m really lucky I got in and had those opportunities, but I didn’t find the tribe I thought I’d find. You see films where people go to performing arts schools and find their tribe, but I felt as isolated and alone as I did at my previous school. It meant I spent a lot of time in the piano rooms and wrote a lot of songs. It is inspiring to be around young people who are all doing what they love, but I struggled with school in general because I was extremely shy.’

She’s a big Florence Welch fan

Special meeting: Florence Welch

‘I was working in a studio and had no idea she was recording in the same building and I bumped into her in the tea room. I don’t usually get star-struck but she was one of my biggest inspirations growing up and I was completely speechless. I think she knew how blown away I was to meet her. She put a note under my studio door saying “nice to meet you”. That was 18 months ago, when all this was just starting. I never thought I’d get to meet her, so it was very special. I’d love to work with her.’

New single Ultraviolet is out now. Her UK and Ireland tour starts at Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London, on October 18.