Rise to fame of Great Chishill sensation Sam Smith has changed singing teacher’s life

PUBLISHED: 08:31 12 February 2015

Joanna with man of the moment Sam Smith

Joanna with man of the moment Sam Smith


The singing teacher who helped Great Chishill sensation Sam Smith reach for the stars says his meteoric rise to fame has completely changed her life.

Jazz singer Joanna Eden in her home on Gold Street, Saffron Walden, on the day news came her former pupil Sam Smith had won four Grammy awards.Jazz singer Joanna Eden in her home on Gold Street, Saffron Walden, on the day news came her former pupil Sam Smith had won four Grammy awards.

Joanna Eden told the Crow she gets around 10 requests a day from aspiring pupils since Sam rocketed into the charts.

She was back the limelight when the 22-year-old scooped four Grammy awards on Sunday night.

Sam, who grew up in Great Chishill, where his family still live, won best newcomer, best song, best record for Stay With Me and best pop vocal album at the glitzy Los Angeles award ceremony.

Joanna said: “I feel immensely proud of him, he’s done so well. I feel it’s become a big part of my life. Monday was filled with back to back interviews after his huge win.”

Between the age of nine and 18, Sam received top class coaching from the jazz songstress.

Joanna released the single Hold on Tight, a song co-written by Sam when he was just 17, on Monday.

She believes it’s the first song he ever penned, and said he spent a long time struggling with what to write.

The 42-year-old said: “He wrote about struggling to be accepted. I wrote lyrics back, as a maternal figure, saying ‘you are loved’. It seems funny to think of that now.

“He was a joy to teach. He was a good listener and didn’t mind taking advice on board, he wasn’t precious.”

Also collecting gongs on the red carpet on Sunday was make-up artist Mark Coulier from Royston, who won a Bafta for The Grand Budapest Hotel.

Mark has also been nominated for an Oscar for his work on the same film, and will have his fingers crossed when the winners are revealed in LA later this month.


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