Gauteng teen spotted by Ryan Seacrest after her amazing One Direction hit

By admin
03 February 2014

She’s fresh out of school and doesn’t even have a hit song on the charts but South African singer Filipa has caught the eye of American Idol host and media mogul Ryan Seacrest!

The 18-year-old’s rendition of British boy band One Direction’s hit Story of My Life nabbed her a coveted spot in the radio and TV personality’s competition that is searching for the biggest YouTube cover star.

Filipa is through the third round of voting and is up against contestants from around the world. She’s currently in third place, behind Jedward, the Irish duo who competed on The X Factor UK and Josh Levi, a contestant on The X Factor USA!

It’s unclear if they will win any prizes but Filipa, who’s from Centurion, Gauteng, is getting massive exposure all over the world. We caught up with the talented singer who is currently a first year student at the Cape Academy of Performing Arts in Cape Town.

When did you hear the news Ryan Seacrest chose your cover for his YouTube contest?

We heard about two weeks ago. One of the content producers got hold of me on Facebook and told me I’d been selected as one of 26 YouTube covers of One Direction’s Story of My Life to be entered into a competition looking for the best cover of the song. Of course I said yes!

Where were you when you got the news?

I was at my family home in Centurion. I was excited, a little overwhelmed because Ryan Seacrest is massive and is a very popular website.

Are there any prizes involved?

We have been given very little information but as far as I am aware, the prize is the accolade of being the winner. The biggest prize for me right now is the positive reaction from the South African public who have shown great support and also the media who have punted the campaign hard and kept me at the top of the leader board.

Where was the video shot for your cover of Story of My Life?

We shot the video with Kyle White in December at the South African Air Force Museum in Pretoria.

Are you a big fan of the British boy band One Direction?

I am not necessarily a "Directioner", but I do like their music. It is good and solid pop music that people love. Plus they are cute as well!

When did you start making YouTube videos?

In the middle of last year I released a cover of Maroon 5's Love Somebody and it also had an incredible response.

Who else would you like to cover?

So many artists! There are a lot of good songs out there. But, I am really focused on releasing some original music in about March. I am blessed to be co-writing with Daniel Baron and Garth Barnes from CrashCarBurn, among others.

Are you the first musician in your family?

No, my mother (Marinela Carmo) also sang in a band called Nightbeat in her younger years.

How did you get started in music?

As a little girl I loved to sing along to songs and before I knew I was performing at school and at local community events.

What led you to YouTube? 

It is a trend to do YouTube videos because you tap into the original artist/ band's fan base when they do a search and it is all a part of the digital awareness. It is also good fun to do a popular song and make it my own and support it with a professional video.

Who are your musical and non-musical influences?

Vast! Andrea Bocelli to ABBA, Michael Jackson, Lana Del Rey to Taylor Swift, Lea Michele, Grace Kelly to Meryl Streep and Johnny Depp, Quentin Tarantino to my mom!

What can’t you live without?

Music, the internet and Nutella (hazelnut chocolate spread)!

If you could do a duet with any local or international artist who would it be? Andrea Bocelli. He has a phenomenal voice and expresses such emotion when he sings.

What advice would you give to anyone who would like to get into YouTubing and build a career in music?

Pick a popular song that is charting internationally. Make the production unique and not just a carbon copy of the original and make sure that the producers do the song justice with the same TLC given to producing an original song. Shoot a professional music video, again as if it was your own song.

-Get voting! You can vote for Filipa at

View her music videos at

Find Love!