STROUD teenager Sophronie Edwards will play tracks from her debut album and EP at Wychwood Festival this week.

The sixteen-year-old Deer Park student has been invited to perform at the Cheltenham festival’s Hobgoblin Stage on Friday.

Sophronie began teaching herself the guitar after her dad passed away and has been writing and recording her own folk music ever since.

“I’ve always been singing, at home, in a church choir, in my bedroom” she said.

“My dad was in a band in his spare time and after he died no one touched his guitar until the day I picked it up and taught myself to play. “I loved the process, and some of the songs I wrote then helped me make sense of what had happened – my dad had terminal cancer – and how I was feeling about our loss.

“Then my brother bought me my own guitar and here I am. My brother sings on my first single which is great.

“I am conscious that the first album was rooted in the loss of my dad, from a place and time when I didn’t really know what was happening and I was slightly lost.

“My newer songs are more accepting, and so have a different feel to them, but his words still ring in my ears. I picked up my guitar because of him, and I can hear him singing as I play. That’s really nice. In fact I’m recording my first cover, a song we all love and that he used to sing to me.”

Following recording sessions at Ragged Moon Studios in Stroud, Sophronie released her first LP, Fire in the Heavens, last year. She then took the songs on the road.

“It was my first tour and it was a little scary at the start, but I feel I am in the right place – at home – when I’m on the stage” she said.

“After all the hard work writing and recording and practising, it feels worth it when you get up there and sing your songs.

“The feedback is great, too. When you sense people enjoying the music, you enjoy singing it more too.”

“I started to think about the second album as soon as the first was released, but I won’t be recording it until next year. I’m focussing on my GCSEs at the moment.”

Wychwood Festival is taking place at Cheltenham Racecourse, from Friday to Sunday.