Imagine sitting in a cinema watching a weepy movie and just as it reaches its saddest point your song comes on. A certain amount of artists would be chuffed, but Birdy couldn’t help be distracted.

The 20-year-old singer, who is heading out on tour this autumn, told us it’s not always a joy to hear your own music on the TV or at a film.

She said: “If it’s in an advert, it is always quite exciting because it pops up out of nowhere.

“I did a song for A Fault in Our Stars and I was just waiting for the whole way through the film thinking ‘oh no’ and ‘when’s it going to come?’

“And when I heard it I just felt really awkward: ‘It isn’t right – it’s a sad moment, I shouldn’t be here’.”

It is a reaction that sums Birdy up pretty well. You will have heard her heart-rending, tender songs but she shies away from the limelight.

She said: “I am quite a private person I guess. Fame is not something I have ever wanted, it has come with things.

“It is very unnatural to me, all of that. I’m quite shy so it is not something I enjoy. I have always focussed on the music because that is what I love and that is what I’m here to do.”

That shyness manifests itself in a charmingly idiosyncratic way when it comes to playing live, too. She loves performing and the thing that makes her most nervous is not the thousands of fans but the handful of her friends.

She said: “I just love getting to perform with a band and to share that feeling on stage with them, and getting to see people enjoying the music.

“I’m so excited (about the tour). I haven’t really done a big UK tour so it is going to be really fun and I’m going to my hometown really, so it is going to be quite weird for me having some of my friends turn up who haven’t really seen what I do.

“It’s a bit scary, actually. I prefer to get on with things secretly and hope it’s OK.”

Amazingly for a 20-year-old, Birdy has already released three albums.

Fame came to her very young. She was just 12 when she won the Open Mic UK competition in 2008 and her debut single, a cover of Bon Iver’s Skinny Love, got worldwide attention when she was still just 14.

She said: “It was a huge whirlwind, really. I didn’t know what was going on. I just went with it and hoped for the best.”

She added: “I was so lucky because I had a wonderful manager.

“A lot of it was also having my parents with me. They travelled with me until I was 18 and I couldn’t have done it without them. I would have been terrified, I think.”

Birdy’s new album, Beautiful Lies, was released in March and it marks another step forward for her as a songwriter.

She said: “I can really hear that when I look back to my second album. I can hear myself trying to find what I like and experimenting with production as well.

“I feel like that album for me was lots of different things on one album whereas on this album it has all come together as a whole, which I really love. That was me just growing up a bit, I think.”

Birdy plays Hammersmith Apollo on October 20. Go to

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