Ciara Hazel

A story from the ages

How many stories have we all heard of about famous actors, actresses or singers who worked in cafes or restaurants as they fought their way up the ladder? The following story is about a young talented 22 year old, working in one of London’s popular cafes by day and singing at “gigs” in the evening. This may be a feature of a star in the future.

One may ask how we came across this story. The truth is that by day Ciara works in EP’s second office – a great street café off Carnaby Street (Speakeasy) where the team take clients for coffee and croissants. She will often be found there and she came to our notice as her service ethic has always been exceptional; so much so that we all have remarked about how she is a budding hospitality star. It was only once we engaged in finding out more, did we find out that Ciara has written and released her own songs and sings at venues across London. She had 100 people pay to listen to her perform at a concert earlier this week – and it was only her second performance.

CiaraClick here to watch You Alone – Ciara’s first video.

On the face of it Ciara’s story may not seem overly remarkable. She is 22, with high aspirations but for now she working in a coffee shop to pay her way.

What lies beneath however is what sets her apart from the crowd. Having grown up in leafy Chichester, she has changed her situation by moving to London to achieve her dreams. She is one of those characters who is building her own story – almost against the odds. She is naturally charismatic, engaging and positive in outlook. She started to sing as a 15 year old at school and in church. She had no vocal training; singing was always a passion. She is self-taught at the guitar. Having performed her first concert at Troubadour earlier this year, Ciara already has bookings to perform at a number of venues over the next few months. She has her own band which was a group of friends that came together and consist of a cello, bass, drums, keys, and two background singers. They are considering adding on a banjo and mandolin.

Ciara writes her own lyrics and songs. Her favourite songs she writes in 10 minutes – “I just get a surge of inspiration” she comments

“I just love music. It is my passion. I am lucky as my family is very supportive. My brother is a DJ and my boyfriend is a music director – so I have music around me.

But I do love working in Speakeasy. I love the day to day contact with the regulars that come in – chatting with them, hearing their stories, seeing their guests. We have a great team at the café and my manager is also a musician with his own band – so we have much in common. We just enjoy the relaxed nature of our work – our product is great so our customers are happy – and we all support each other.

Long term, I want to see where music takes me. I don’t do it for the money. I love singing and writing the songs. I hope one day to perform at festivals and to tour. “

So why have we brought Ciara to your attention? Because this may just be a hospitality story from the ages and we believe she is one to watch in the future.

For more information on all of the initiatives run by EP or to get (more) involved with the community, please contact Nicole Thompson

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