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Singer Red to Perform at the Top of Brighton i360

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A colourful life: Nicole Simpson, better known as Red, on starting early, heading in a new direction and a special gig in Brighton.

Early Start and Rising Fame

It’s fair to say Nicole Simpson’s career is going sky-high. Absolutely catches the singer-songwriter, known to millions as Red, just before she heads off to LA to work on a new album. However, she will be returning to Brighton this month for a special gig at the i360. Things are certainly looking up.

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Her singing prowess became obvious to many at a very young age. “My nickname from friends and family when I was younger was always ‘Little Red,’” she says. “From as young as I can remember, I was in my car seat, rocking back and forth to the music I grew up on. I began singing at around four years of age and was enrolled in dance school. My classmates had asked me to sing Kelly Clarkson’s ‘Behind These Hazel Eyes’ for them, and that was the first time I realized I had a singing voice that other people loved to hear. I was always performing shows for my family in front of my fireplace, inspired by the latest Xtina music video.”

First Professional Gig

It wasn’t long before Red landed her first professional gig. “I landed the lead role of Martha from The Sound Of Music at age 7, debuting at the Theatre Royal in Glasgow,” she smiles. “I then performed in several musicals between 7-9 years old. I was still really young, and education was most important for my parents. So whenever I had free time from school work, I was either auditioning or involved in rehearsals, shows, or competitions up and down the country.”

Social Media Sensation

Fast-forward to 2024, and it’s fair to say that early grounding has paid off and then some. She has taken social media by storm, racking up 1.2m followers and 20m views on one video alone. Many more discovered her when she mesmerized audiences across Europe alongside Andrea Bocelli, experiencing the electrifying rush of performing to thousands and propelling her onto the global stage.

“The recognition I received from Andrea Bocelli’s team was my big break,” says Red. “It was a full-circle moment and very personal to me because my dad, who passed many years ago, was a huge fan of his. The fact that I was given the opportunity and trust to perform alongside him on a tour of Europe was an honour. There is no feeling quite like standing in a stadium alongside such an icon and receiving applause from thousands of people. It’s all you ever dream of as an artist.”

High-Profile Performances

After the European tour, Red graced the stages of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and the King’s coronation alongside artists such as Diana Ross, Ed Sheeran, Alicia Keys, Lionel Ritchie, and Katy Perry. Performing along such icons meant many music lovers were exposed to her wonderfully powerful voice. “I think my voice reminds people of the days when we had the greats such as Whitney and Mariah singing their hearts out with raw emotional ballads that stood the test of time,” Red says.

Upcoming Projects

The aforementioned visit to LA will see work continue on her debut album. When asked to describe her music, she opts for: “Vintage pop, a balance of nostalgic 90s diva mixed with 2024 pop.” The US trip will also include a private event, an element of her career that Red can’t get enough of. “I love getting to travel the world. It’s one of the biggest privileges to be able to share my voice and music with people from completely different paths of life. Music brings essentially strangers together in such a magical way.”


Performing Close to Home

A gig close to home ranks highly. Red was born and bred in Glasgow but now lives just over the border in Kent. “I come from a really small town back home in Glasgow where people would only dream of hopping on a 30-minute train to London,” she smiles. “I love Kent for the beauty as well as being able to have the best of both worlds with the greenery and the coast at your doorstep, but also being able to commute easily into the City and live your best life.”

The Brighton i360 Event

Red will be performing on 26 July at the Brighton i360. The exclusive event will see Red board the Brighton i360 observation pod and entertain guests during a unique sky dining-themed flight. “It’s just such an iconic building that when the opportunity came about, it was something I wanted to tick off the bucket list,” she says. “Over the years, I’ve had the pleasure of visiting Brighton on numerous occasions. Early in my career, I performed in one of its venues while providing backing vocals for John Newman. I also attended a friend’s hen party and celebrated my five-year anniversary with my fiancée in the city.

“The Brighton i360 pod has always caught my eye,” she continues. “It’s an incredible feature in the skyline. So, participating in this event feels like a long-awaited opportunity for me. I have a deep affection for Brighton. It’s truly one of my favourite places. I am excited to perform as the glass pod moves into the sky and the phenomenal view unfolds around me. I also love the fact that I’ll be walking around the guests and able to interact personally with new people and potentially some fans – what an experience that will be!” All this, and she has a fear of heights too, so kudos to Red’s dedication to her craft.

What to Expect at the i360 Performance

What kind of music can we expect? “I really want people to feel like we’ve transported back in time to the Marilyn Monroe era. Old Hollywood vibes with a plot twist. I’ll probably ease the audience in with some of the well-known ballads I’ve sung over the years and then get the party started with some vocal dance bangers like ‘Show Me Love.’”

Red’s Love for Brighton

Red clearly has a lot of time for Brighton. “I love Brighton for the love I have for the LGBT community. I love everything Brighton stands for – unity, peace, and love. People feel comfortable and, most importantly, safe to be themselves in Brighton. That brings me such confidence in humanity, especially in times where the world is at war.”

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Looking Ahead

With a new single due to drop, there’s plenty to be excited about for the rest of 2024. “I can’t wait to release new music, a new direction, and make plans for touring more of the UK,” Red says. Big things await.

Sky Dining: An Evening with Red is on 26 July at Brighton i360. See more at Brighton i360 and hear more of Red’s music on TikTok @itsredredred.

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Picture of Mark Kebble

Mark Kebble

Mark's career in journalism started in 2001 when he landed a role on a small lifestyle magazine in Angel, North London. Soon enough, the magazine was purchased by a larger organisation and Mark found himself promoted to editor at the tender age of 23. He later became group editor, working on magazines for Angel, Crouch End, Muswell Hill and Highgate. He was also involved in a launch in Hadley Wood and a major new group website, later becoming Group Hub Editor. In 2021, Mark joined Zest Media Group and oversaw the launch of many Absolutely titles across the UK. To date, Mark has launched in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, Sussex, Essex, Yorkshire and Cheshire. When he does have some free time, Mark is also the Chairman of an amateur football club in Surrey and is also a fully qualified FA football coach.
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